On Saturday (May 16), 78 Historically Black Colleges and Universities will combine in a celebration of the Class of 2020. The honor will celebrate 27,000 students for their graduation, moving around a hurdle placed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Show Me Your Walk HBCU Edition commencement event presented by Chase will have a special message by Former President Barack Obama and is hosted by Kevin hart. Additional appearances will include Debbie Allen, Steve Harvey, Chris Paul, Wyclef Jean, Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett, Vivica Fox, Vince Carter. Also on hand will be Ariel Investments Co-CEO and President Mellody Hobson, National Urban League president, Marc Morial, and HBCU academic leaders.
“Every student graduating in the Class of 2020 deserves to celebrate this moment—they earned it, even more so during a challenging year for our country and the world. We are showing up for them because we recognize they are our now and our future, and the way forward is full of opportunity,” said Duckett.
Performances will include a drumline mash-up featuring Doug E. Fresh, Anthony Hamilton, Wyclef Jean, Omari Hardwick and other musical guests.
The idea for the commencement came from Dr. Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College (PQC) and member of the ABP Advisory Council. Additional organizers for the event include Howard University, The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).
“As a result of COVID-19, our students have been robbed of a moment that they and their families have earned,” Sorrell said. “I am so grateful that this coalition of partners stepped up to answer the call of the HBCU community and stand in the gap for our students and their families.”
JPMorgan Chase is supporting “Show Me Your Walk HBCU Edition” through its Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) initiative, created to help black communities close historical achievement gaps in three key areas: wealth creation, educational outcomes and career success.