YouTube Hosted “Dear Class Of 2020” Graduation Ceremony Filled With Celebrities


On Sunday June 7, YouTube Original held a four-hour virtual graduation ceremony called “Dear Class of 2020,” in honor of this year’s graduates coping with the coronavirus pandemic, and social justice movements. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Saturday June 6, but was moved in honor of George Floyd’s memorial which took place the same day.

According to BET, they celebrated the 2020 class by having headliners former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama praising the graduates for their dedication during their final months in school amid the pandemic. “So these past few months you’ve had to reach even higher. You weren’t just adjusting to a virtual classroom. You were helping your teachers adjust their audio so the rest of the class could hear. You weren’t just taking your finals online, you were making sure your siblings had enough time on the computer too, to do their work. And you weren’t just hanging out with your friends in that group chat. You were supporting them through all this uncertainty and loss.”

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So much has changed so quickly. And if any of you are confused, or scared, or angry—or just plain overwhelmed—I just want you to know that you aren’t alone. I am feeling all of that, too. And I tried to put together some of my thoughts—for the #Classof2020 and everyone out there using their voice to fight for justice right now. ⁣ ⁣ To anyone out there who feels invisible: Please know that your story matters. Your ideas matter. Your experiences matter. Your vision for what our world can and should be matters. Your anger—that matters too. But left on its own, it will only corrode, destroy, and sow chaos—on the inside and out. Dr. King was angry. Sojourner Truth was angry. Lucretia Mott, Cesar Chavez, the folks at Stonewall—they were all angry. But they were also driven by compassion, by principle—by hope. And if you hold strong with the same faith that carried all those giants before you toward real, measurable progress—you will change the course of history.⁣ ⁣ So what does that mean for our time? If you’re spending a lot of time hashtagging and posting right now, that’s useful, especially during a pandemic. But it’s only a beginning. Go further.⁣ Text everybody you know to join you in exercising their constitutional right to protest. Send all your friends a link to register to vote at And show up to vote in every election. ⁣ ⁣ This is how you can finish the work that the generations before you started. By staying open and hopeful, even through tough times. Even through discomfort and pain. Channel your feelings into activism and into this democracy that was designed to respond to those who vote.⁣ #Classof2020, and every one of you out there doing the hard work of progress, you all are exactly what we need right now—and for the years and decades to come. I love you all. I believe in you all. This is your time. @reachhigher @youtube

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They also had a group of star-studded commencement speakers such as Beyoncé, BTS, Lady Gaga, Secretary Condoleezza Rice and many others.

Following the Obama’s inspirational speech was the main commencement address delivered by Beyonce who shed light on the recent protests. “You have arrived, here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed Black human being. And you still made it. We’re so proud of you.”

The singer also acknowledged those who are marching and demanding justice. “Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black lives matter. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery,Breonna Taylor, and so many others have left us all broken.”

Other celebrities like Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, Michael B. Jordan, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake made an appearance. CNN reports, artists like Lizzo, BTS,the New York Philharmonic and many others performed.