The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and GLSEN have announced they will host a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the LGBTQ high school and college class of 2020.
The ceremony, which will honor the estimated half a million LGBTQ seniors graduating this spring, will be held on Friday, May 8 at 4pm ET.
“Leaning into and creating community spaces is as important as ever during this global public health crisis,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “LGBTQ students who have been asked to leave college campuses or to take classes from home may not have a supportive environment to return to—and some may even be forced to go back into the closet as a means of safety during these trying times. Some students may even face homelessness or housing insecurity as a result of simply living as their authentic selves.”
The event will include many traditional elements of a graduation ceremony, including an official welcome from David and GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard, a commencement address, valedictorians for exceptional, dynamic LGBTQ, and a musical performance HRC Youth Ambassador DJ Young 1.
The ceremony will also highlight HRC’s Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Program, the only national project partnering with HBCUs to establish an LGBTQ-inclusive campus climate.
“Through this event, we want to send a message to the LGBTQ Class of 2020 that we are proud of you and have your backs,” David continued. “This moment is for every LGBTQ graduate yearning for community and love during this difficult time.”