Philadelphia School District to honor students with virtual graduation ceremonies

The Philadelphia School District is honoring students with a virtual graduation Tuesday.    

The virtual graduation will be held at 11 a.m. on June 9 with Malcolm Jenkins as the keynote speaker.

Jenkins, a former player for the Philadelphia Eagles, has long been a vocal advocate for social and racial justice, which will provide an informed voice amid current civil unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. 

Dr. Hite introduces a student whose original work will be part of the graduation ceremony, which was delayed and replanned due to the continuing coronavirus pandemicc. 

For Dr. Hite, the hardest thing to witness is the high school-aged students struggling to cope with their own struggles amid large-scale community struggles. 

“School community is in mourning right now," he explained, remarking on how students have to mourn long-awaited celebrations that may never happen. "I worry about the young people in communities that were looted that they don’t have access to services that they need. At the same time I understand their anger at seeing what happened in Minnesota."

Tuesday's graduation has been a true team effort -- coordinating 55 high schools and their respective student bodies in order to recognize them on an individual scale. 

In partnership, as the official virtual host and co-producer of the after-party, Kimmel Cultural Campus is working with Philly’s own DJ Aktive, DJ Skip, R&B group Good Girl, ILL Doots, Alexander Charles, as well as quick-rising hip hop sensation SimXSantana on a multi-platform concert event, streamed on multiple social media platforms, as well as the district’s television station PSTV.  The event is MC’d by Power 99 Rise + Grind Morning Show DJs Mikey Dredd, Roxy Romeo, and Mutha Knows.

The Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden will also be lit up in blue, as part of a city-wide School District of Philadelphia initiative to honor the Class of 2020 graduates.

To watch the livestream of the event, you can click here: Virtual Graduation Livestream