Los Angeles Laker’s superstar LeBron James has long supported scholastic achievement via his philanthropic efforts.
Now, James is leading an unprecedented effort to celebrate America’s high school seniors, many of whom, because of coronavirus, won’t enjoy a graduation ceremony.
The one-hour special, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, will air simultaneously across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC and on an array of digital platforms — including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, PeopleTV and Complex Networks.
Curated by high school students and educators throughout the country with the support of the American Federation of Teachers, this national commercial-free broadcast will include a collection of commencement addresses, celebrity performances and inspirational vignettes. Suggestions and stories are already being collected via GraduateTogether2020.com.
Celebrities such as Bad Bunny, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Chika, YBN Cordae, Loren Gray, H.E.R., the Jonas Brothers, Brandan Bmike Odums, Ben Platt, Henry Platt, Jonah Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai will make appearances and perform on Graduate Together.
XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation have partnered to create the event, the proceeds of which will support teachers and organizations addressing the needs of students and families in underserved communities that are impacted by school closures.
It’s familiar territory for James. Through its I PROMISE Program, James’ foundation serves at-risk students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
“We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics. It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together — students, parents, educators, community members, and everyone around them,” James said Wednesday in a statement. “With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time. These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it.”
Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 will be broadcast commercial-free on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at 8:00 PM ET/PT, 7:00 PM CT. The event is being produced by Done + Dusted and James’ SpringHill Entertainment.
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