Los Angeles, CA — Black College Expo™ and the Los Angeles Urban League are joining forces to present “2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage,” a positive and uplifting cultural celebration for high school graduates, on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 3 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). Hundreds of thousands of high school students from around the country will have a commencement ceremony unlike any other in recent memory. Visit laul.org/2020blackgrad to register for the live virtual graduation.
Most 2020 graduates will not get to enjoy the traditional ceremonial walk across the stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they will receive a once in a lifetime, grassroots-oriented celebration of their achievements. The “2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” will feature a live online virtual experience for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates. The 90-minute historic ceremony will celebrate students for their accomplishments, aspirations and academic excellence.
Stakeholders such as high school administrators, parents, teachers, guardians and mentors should tune in to learn the cultural history and legacy of the 2020 graduating class. Highlights of the virtual “2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” will include celebrity performances, spoken word presentations, scholarship presentations, student recognitions and keynote speeches by notable celebrities and academic leaders, including fiery orator Thomas Parham, PhD, President of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
“We at the Los Angeles Urban League in conjunction with Black College Expo are staying true to our mission by honoring the 2020 high school graduates. We joyously celebrate the accomplishments of these graduating seniors. We also stand ready to help them acquire the post-graduate education, training, and skills that they will need to lead us in a world that will be forever changed by this coronavirus pandemic.” Michael Lawson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Urban League.
Closed schools, social isolation, food scarcity and parental unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic must be balanced by providing a celebration where high school students can experience love, hope, trust and connectedness with the people who are proud of their achievements. The “2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” aims to be a call to action as well as beacon of hope. “This generation’s passage into adulthood is marked by its own crumbling twin towers of racism and systemic failure – and now, a devastating pandemic. We need to open the door to let these young people bring new solutions to the table,” says Brian Williams, Vice President and COO of the Los Angeles Urban League.
“We have been receiving so many calls from our black community looking for direction. I know that our black students already feel disconnected from the system, so we wanted to do something to help them feel celebrated and appreciated,” remarked Black College Expo Founder Dr. Theresa Price.
“2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” is the only national black graduation for high school students. One distinction of the event is its interactive nature. Students, grouped by high schools, will share the experience with classmates, family and teachers in their own “private room.” The celebration hopes to be a guidepost for graduating students to reimagine their lives after high school and get ready for the world. Hopefully, the virtual presentation will nudge the viewing participants to emerge from COVID-19 lockdown with enthusiasm and hope for what the future holds. The Los Angeles Urban League and the Black College Expo plan on making this one-of-a-kind celebration enlightening, fun, and unique.