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Celebrating the Class of 2020

This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. Today's edition looks at the many political and community leaders who are finding ways to celebrate and honor the graduating classes of 2020.

Celebrating and Honoring The Classes of 2020

It's graduation season, and many noteworthy figures are doing their part to mark the special occasion with the dignity and hopefulness that students deserve—even during a pandemic. This past weekend, Former President Barack Obama delivered online commencement addresses to both high school graduates and graduates of historically black colleges and universities. His speeches described how the pandemic has shaken up the status quo, taking what should have been a rite of passage into adult life and turning it into a period of uncertainty. He also observed that the pandemic has highlighted the ongoing inequities that communities of color still have to surmount in America. However, this crisis should crystalize for new graduates, the President offered, that adults don't have all the answers, and that it’s up to the next generation to improve our society.

Meanwhile, US Senator Cory Booker's commencement message for Saint Peter's University urged graduates to define their lives through daily acts of kindness, service, and sacrifice. Author James Patterson's online commencement address for the University of Wisconsin advised resilience and persistence—telling grads that there's never been a better time to make use of what they've learned. And here in Connecticut, Hartford Promise is planning an online celebration to honor the achievements of its first cohort of college graduates—a group of 75 students representing 23 different colleges and universities. (Details below.)

We are so proud of the students from across the state and country who are showing they can overcome incredible odds to achieve.

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