India, June 2020– Class of 2020 had been claiming itself to be the unluckiest batch ever. They lost the last few months of their school/college life and the prospects of a proper graduation ceremony, which is probably one of the most awaited moments of college life for students.
However, YouTube is pumping up 2020 virtual pomp-and-circumstance circuit with a virtual graduation ceremony. YouTube Originals’ will host a live-streamed event on 6th June 2020 called “Dear Class Of 2020,” which will be headlined by Barack and Michelle Obama. The virtual event plans to give a farewell to the students who won’t be able to get an in-person farewell due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Class of 2020 is in for an extremely celebrity-stocked graduation ceremony, even if it has to take place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival-style line-up will feature talks on traditional graduation-day themes mixed in with music performances.
The Obamas will headline and deliver individual speeches; the other speaking moments will come from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, Sundar Pichai, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Hasan Minhaj, Taylor Swift, former Secretary Of Defense Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, La La Anthony, Andy Cohen, Lana Condor, Misty Copeland, Kevin Durant, FINNEAS, Bill & Melinda Gates, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Janelle Monáe, Antoni Porowski, Billy Porter, Phoebe Robinson, Yara Shahidi, Michael Strahan, Ciara & Russell Wilson, the casts of Euphoria and Riverdale, Today’s Jenna Bush Hager and Natalie Morales
Meanwhile, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, and Zendaya, will make special appearances. They’ll be joined by popular YouTube creators, including Prajakta Koli, Jackie Aina, Asap SCIENCE, Dude Perfect, Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar, Mr. Kate, The Try Guys, Emma Chamberlain, John Green, Nikkie Tutorials, and Mark Rober. Korean pop band BTS “and others” will also perform music at a grad night afterparty.
Michelle Obama through an Instagram post stated, “To the #Classof2020, I know how hard you all have worked to make it to graduation. You’ve put in long hours studying. You’ve thrown yourself into extracurricular activities and after-school jobs. And you’ve done everything you can to be there for your friends through it all. Some of you will be the first in your families to graduate from high school or college, making this occasion all the more special. And I know that none of you imagined you would be closing this chapter of your life through a computer or phone screen. But I still want to make sure you still get the celebration you deserve.”
Prajakta Koli who collaborated with Michelle Obama recently on Creators For Change elaborates, “As COVID-19 continues to impact in-person gatherings and events all around the world, students have been finding new ways to celebrate their milestones. While it’s definitely okay to mourn the loss of in-person milestone events, it’s also inspiring the ways people are creating new ways to celebrate achievements. Class of 2020, the world has changed. You will determine how we re-erect, and it’s important you make your community your priority. It feels great to represent India on such a massive global platform. I am forever indebted to YouTube for helping me represent India at such global initiatives and conversations. I am looking forward to seeing the reaction on the video I’ve made for this project. I will be curating content with assorted characters, who will be representing different family members, congratulating and wishing the graduates best of luck in their own quirky style. From mumma to baba and Montu they all have their unique brand of advice for the graduates of 2020.”
Susanne Daniels, Global Head Of Content For Youtube states, “Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement. We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”
YouTube is partnering with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Born This Way Foundation, Malala Fund, NBC’s “Today,” and Ideas United to showcase student stories and feature graduates around the world, including a crowd-sourced commencement speech. The special is being produced by Done and Dusted. Overseeing the project for YouTube are Nadine Zylstra, head of learning for YouTube Originals along with Danny Zaccagnino, Laurel Stier, Lauren Vrazilek, and Zoe Di Stefano on the learning development team.
The multihour event premieres Saturday, June 6, on the YouTube Originals channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqVDpXKLmKeBU_yyt_QkItQ ) and YouTube’s Learn@Home site (https://learnathome.withyoutube.com/).
With over 5.3 million subscribers on YouTube and over 2.2 million followers on Instagram, Prajakta Koli aka MostlySane is a household name acknowledged for narrating relatable comic skits that have a strong connect with viewers. Known for being an active campaigner for socially relevant youth centric issues, she tackled subjects like body image and online bullying with “Shameless” as part of her campaign #iPledgeToBeMe which she launched on World Mental Health Day in 2016. Being a global ambassador for YouTube’s Creators For Change, she threw light on trolling, female subjugation and homophobia through “No Offence” which was showcased on International Tolerance Day at the United Nations headquarters in New York. In 2018 Prajakta was seen in WhatsApp’s first ever TVC which addressed the importance of not spreading fake news. Later in the same year she partnered with YouTube for Social Impact Girl’s Education campaign, with Instagram on their Safer Internet Week campaign and One.org for their Girl Education campaign. In 2019 she was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their annual Goalkeepers Summit. Recently India’s foremost female content creator announced Pretty Fit, a light-hearted six episode fitness-based chat show featuring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sanya Malhotra, Malishka Mendonsa, Mithila Palkar, Neha Kakkar, Sumukhi Suresh. Being one of the first creators in the world to interview American technology veteran, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube , Pretty Fit also marked a first for the 25-year-old digital superstar who will become India’s first content creator to have her own YouTube Originals. Prajakta was part of Unite a 24 live streamathon organised by Call to Unite and Room To Read to promote education amongst children during this pandemic and included global personalities like George Bush, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner and many more!