Oprah Winfrey is slated to deliver a virtual commencement address to honor the high school and college seniors who are graduating in the U.S. this year as graduation ceremonies across the country have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus.
Winfrey is also booked to give a virtual commencement address to all graduating high school seniors in Chicago in mid-June. Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot made the announcement in her first-ever TikTok video she shared on Wednesday.
The online commencement ceremony will recognize all Chicago schools ― public, private and charter.
“The times we are living in are historic and stunning, forcing us all to take a deep look at who we are as a people and our place in the world,“ Lightfoot said in a statement, according to the Chicago Tribune.
”No one knows this better than Oprah, and I join all of Chicago in looking forward to hearing the wisdom she’ll be sharing with our incredible young people as they take this unforgettable next step on their life’s journey,” she added.
Virtual celebrations for soon-to-be 2020 graduates have become increasingly popular as schools and families across the world have adjusted to the new reality of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA star LeBron James, who opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, in 2018, has also stepped up to celebrate 2020 seniors whose graduation celebrations have been altered this spring.
The LeBron James Family Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and XQ Institute are coordinating a one-hour TV and online special for high school seniors across the U.S. on May 16 called “Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020.”
Other celebrities, including Lil Nas X, Jennifer Garner, Awkwafina and Simone Biles, are scheduled to join Winfrey to deliver speeches during the Facebook and Instagram event later this month. Miley Cyrus is slated to perform her song “The Climb.”
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