The Los Angeles Urban League and Black College Expo announced Thursday they have teamed up to present a live virtual graduation ceremony next month to celebrate black high school graduates throughout the United States.

The 1 1/2-hour ceremony — “2020 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” — is set for 3 p.m. June 5 and will include celebrity performances, verbal and scholarship presentations, recognition of students and keynote speeches by celebrities and academic leaders, including Cal State Dominguez Hills President Thomas Parham.

“We have been receiving so many calls from our black community looking for direction. I know that our black students already feel disconnected from the system, so we wanted to do something to help them feel celebrated and appreciated,” said Dr. Theresa Price, Black College Expo’s founder.

Organizers said the event marks the only national black graduation for high school students, who will be grouped by high schools so they can share the experience with classmates, family members and teachers in their own private rooms.

“This generation’s passage into adulthood is marked by its own crumbling twin towers of racism and systemic failure — and now, a devastating pandemic. We need to open the door to let these young people bring new solutions to the table,” said Brian Williams, the Los Angeles Urban League’s vice president and COO.

Graduating high school seniors can register for the live virtual graduation at laul.org/2020blackgrad.

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