Dear Class of 2020: Celebrities boost morale of graduating students in YouTube’s virtual ceremony

YouTube Originals’ Dear Class of 2020 was a digital commencement ceremony dedicated to students graduating this year.

The class of 2020 was sailing through all those school years waiting for their special day, but as the former US president Barack Obama described it, the class was hit with a pandemic right before the final turn.  

Therefore to appreciate all their years of dedication, YouTube arranged for a virtual graduation ceremony and made sure that this convocation was all-stars. The highlight of the event was the Obamas as hosts of this ceremony. 

Dear Class of 2020‘s lineup had stars from all over. Some of the big names were Beyoncé, Sundar Pichai, Jennifer Lopez, and the only Indian YouTuber to make it to the list was Prajakta Koli.

Dear Class of 2020 was a combination of pre-recorded messages and live performances. Since these video messages were recorded before the death of George Floyd, some celebrities felt the need to use this platform to address the issue of racism. So stars like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé rewrote their speeches.

Here are some excerpts from the speeches of stars who were a part of the event:

“What’s happening right now is the direct result of decades of unaddressed prejudice and inequality, For too many people in this country, no matter how hard they work, there are structural barriers for them that just make the road longer and rockier. … If you can’t even approach the police without fearing for your life, well, then how do you even begin to chart your own course? Not only can you do better than those who came before you, but you will.” said former First Lady Michelle Obama

Thinking of racism in America as a forest, Lady Gaga said: “I imagine a broad forest filled densely with tall trees – trees as old as this country itself, trees planted with racist seeds, trees that grew prejudiced branches and oppressive leaves and mangled roots that buried and entrenched themselves deep within the soil forming a web so well developed and so entangled. This forest is where we live, it’s who we are. I believe in my heart that the people that are going to make this change happen are listening to me speak right now.”

The Google and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai, in his speech gave notable examples from the past to make the class understand that people have gone through something like this before and come out stronger.

Check out the entire Dear Class of 2020 virtual ceremony below:

Also read: It’s Neverrr Too Late: Huma Qureshi’s quarantine series on mental well-being

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