Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY
Published 11:51 a.m. ET April 30, 2020
There may not be formal graduation ceremonies for high schools seniors due to the coronavirius pandemic, but LeBron James is making sure they get a chance to celebrate.
The LeBron James Family Foundation has teamed up with XQ Institute and The Entertainment Industry Foundation to televise “Graduate Together” across a variety of viewing platforms: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, as Well as TikTok, Facebook, Complex Networks, PeopleTV and YouTube.
The one-hour special will air on May 16 (8 p.m. ET) and will include appearances from James, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe and the Jonas Brothers, and the commercial-free broadcast will also include “commencement addresses, celebrity performances, and inspirational vignettes,” according to a news release.
“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 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.”
Graduating seniors can send in portraits that could be used on the special, and local TV stations will “feature custom breakaways to celebrate the achievements of high school students in their own communities,” according to the news release.
“Even if we are physically apart, we are eager to celebrate our students’ accomplishments alongside parents, family members, and caregivers as we try to bring this school year to a meaningful close,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. “We are grateful to all our teachers and school staff and proud to join in this effort to bring together education professionals from across the country and honor graduates as they embark on their next journey.”