Raúl Yzaguirre to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Raúl Yzaguirre is being feted by the White House

The 82-year-old Mexican America civil rights activist is among this year’s 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House has announced.

Raúl YzaguirrePresented to individuals who have “made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the Medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Yzaguirre served as the Chief Executive Officer and president of the National Council of La Raza for 30 years. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic under President Barack Obama.

Former The University of Texas at Brownsville president Dr. Julieta García is also being honored.

The Mexican American education executive was named one of Time magazine’s best college presidents. Dr. García was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president and dedicated her career to serving students from the Southwest Border region.

Other recipients this year include Denzel Washington, Simone Biles, the late Sen. John McCain, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe.

The awards will be presented at the White House next Thursday, July 7.

Here’s a look at the individuals who will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

  • Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles is also a prominent advocate for athletes’ mental health and safety, children in the foster care system, and victims of sexual assault.
  • Sister Simone Campbell is a member of the Sisters of Social Service and former Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice organization. She is also a prominent advocate for economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare policy.
  • Dr. Julieta García is the former president of The University of Texas at Brownsville, where she was named one of Time magazine’s best college presidents. Dr. García was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president and dedicated her career to serving students from the Southwest Border region.
  • Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, serving first in the Arizona legislature and later in the U.S. Congress. A survivor of gun violence, she co-founded Giffords, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gun violence prevention.
  • Fred Gray was one of the first black members of the Alabama State legislature since Reconstruction. As an attorney, he represented Rosa Parks, the NAACP, and Martin Luther King, who called him “the chief counsel for the protest movement.”
  • Steve Jobs (died 2011) was the co-founder, chief executive, and chair of Apple, Inc., CEO of Pixar and held a leading role at the Walt Disney Company. His vision, imagination and creativity led to inventions that have, and continue to, change the way the world communicates, as well as transforming the computer, music, film and wireless industries.
  • Father Alexander Karloutsos is the former Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. After over 50 years as a priest, providing counsel to several U.S. presidents, he was named by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as a Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • Khizr Khanis a Gold Star father and founder of the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Center. He is a prominent advocate for the rule of law and religious freedom and served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom under President Biden.
  • Sandra Lindsayis a New York critical care nurse who served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. She was the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials and is a prominent advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers.
  • John McCain (died 2018) was a public servant who was awarded a Purple Heart with one gold star for his service in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. He also served the people of Arizona for decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and was the Republican nominee for president in 2008.
  • Diane Nash is a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who organized some of the most important civil rights campaigns of the 20th century. Nash worked closely with Martin Luther King, who described her as the “driving spirit in the nonviolent assault on segregation at lunch counters.”
  • Megan Rapinoeis an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion. She also captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ rights.
  • Alan Simpson served as a U.S. Senator from Wyoming for 18 years. During his public service, he has been a prominent advocate on issues including campaign finance reform, responsible governance, and marriage equality.
  • Richard Trumka (died 2021) was president of the 12.5-million-member AFL-CIO for more than a decade, president of the United Mine Workers, and secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. Throughout his career, he was an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice.
  • Brigadier General Wilma Vaughtis one of the most decorated women in the history of the U.S. military, repeatedly breaking gender barriers as she rose through the ranks. When she retired in 1985, she was one of only seven women generals in the Armed Forces.
  • Denzel Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globes, and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also served as National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 25 years.
  • Raúl Yzaguirre is a civil rights advocate who served as CEO and president of National Council of La Raza for thirty years. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic under President Barack Obama.

Sofia Huerta Called Up by U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Vlatko Andonovski for SheBelieves Cup

Sofia Huerta will be representing the U.S. later this month…

U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski has called up a squad that mixes youth and experience, including the 29-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player and a midfielder for OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League, for this month’s SheBelieves Cup.

Sofia HuertaAndonovski’s roster leaves out big names like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan in favor of up-and-comers like 22-year-old Brazilian-born American professional soccer player Catarina Macario and 22-year-old Ashley Sanchez, a forward for the Washington Spirit.

The 23-player squad will compete in the USWNT‘s first games of 2022 when the Americans face the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Iceland in the SheBelieves Cup, taking place February 17-23.

The games will be played at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Veterans left out include some of the USWNT’s biggest attacking names, such as Rapinoe, Morgan, Tobin Heath and Christen Press. Andonovski said those players had been left off to make room for the players needing to prove themselves.

“All these players are very good players — we know that they’ve done so much for this team,” Andonovski told ESPN of the veterans. “But right now I want to give a chance to players like Sophia Smith and Mal Pugh and Catarina Macario, Ashley Hatch, players that have earned their spot on the national team or earn their spot back. I want to give them maximum minutes or whatever minutes they earn so we can evaluate every aspect of their game, in the training environment or game setting.”

However, the veterans being left off the roster shouldn’t be interpreted as those players being a lock, Andonovski added.

“It doesn’t mean that all these players that have done well in the past are just going to come back here in the next camp because they’ve done well a year ago or two years ago,” Andonovski added. “There’s a reason why we’re not calling Mia Hamm or Julie Foudy in camp, right? So the same goes here: they need to perform, they need to play in their markets, they need to play well in their markets, and show that they can still contribute and be valuable for the national team.”

In the midfield, veterans Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis are also left out in favor of less established USWNT players such as Macario and Sanchez. Mewis is coming off an injury, Andonovski said, but Ertz wasn’t fit enough to merit a USWNT call.

“Julie was not ready to come into camp from a physical standpoint,” Andonovski said. “In the conversation that I had with her, she understands that in order to get back into camp — and that’s not just for Julie, that’s for any player on this team — first and foremost, you got to be healthy, fit and ready to play. Then, the next thing is you gotta perform in your club market to earn your spot on the national team.”

Ertz was traded from the Chicago Red Stars to NWSL expansion club Angel City FC in December, but she was not on Angel City’s preseason roster announced on Tuesday and has not reported for the club’s preseason camp.

“Whenever Julie is ready and she performs well — we know how good she can be, we know how valuable she is for this team — we’re gonna be happy to see her back,” Andonovski said.

The SheBelieves Cup roster mostly includes players who had joined the USWNT in Texas for its annual January camp, which traditionally features more bubble players and up-and-comers.

The exceptions are midfielder Macario, who missed the camp to stay with Lyon as it faced rival Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France, and defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who missed the January camp with what U.S. Soccer called “a minor injury.”

“We had a great camp in Austin and now we need to see this group of players in game environments against highly motivated opponents,” Andonovski said. “Every player in the pool is focused on making the roster for World Cup and Olympic qualifying this summer.”

Of the 23 players on the roster, 11 are players who have been on the fringes of the USWNT and have 25 or fewer caps. Six players have single-digit caps.

USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster

GOALKEEPERS: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 0), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 2), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 78)

DEFENDERS: Alana Cook (OL Reign; 4/0), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 45/1), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 8/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 9/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 148/2), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 63/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 199/0)

MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Gautrat (Chicago Red Stars; 87/8), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais; 108/25), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 68/18), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 33/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 22/2)

FORWARDS: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 4/2), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 67/18), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 9/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current; 45/14)

Alexia Putellas Becomes First Spanish Ballon d’Or Winner Since 1960

Alexia Putellas has earned her place in Spanish sports history…

The 27-year-old Spanish footballer and Barcelona midfielder has become the first Spain international to win the Ballon d’Or since 1960 after leading her club to the Treble this year.

Alexia Putellas Putellas was named the best women’s player in the world on Monday as she received the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

Putellas, who was also named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in August, is the first Spanish winner since Luis Suarez in 1960.

“Honestly, it is a bit emotional. Very special. It is great to be here with all my teammates. We’ve lived and experienced so much together, especially last season,” she said.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, all my teammates throughout my career and the ones I have right now. This is an individual prize but football is a team sport.

“I’d also like to thank the club of course. It is a real privilege to be here representing Barcelona.”

Barca teammate Jennifer Hermoso came in second place while Chelsea‘s Sam Kerr was voted third.

After a record-breaking year, Barca had an unmatched five players among the 20 finalists, with Hermoso, Lieke Martens, Sandra Panos and Irene Paredes also nominated for the award.

However, Putellas was deemed the outstanding player of a side, which won the Primera Division, the Copa de la Reina and the Champions League for the first time ever, beating Chelsea 4-0 in the final.

The midfielder becomes just the third woman to win the Ballon d’Or after Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural winner in 2018, and Megan Rapinoe, who won it in 2019. There was no award in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Putellas, 27, scored 26 goals last season as Barca clinched the Treble and she has continued her fine form into the current campaign, netting 14 goals in 13 appearances.

After spending one year at Barca’s youth academy when she was younger, Putellas spent her formative years at Espanyol, breaking into the first team at 16 before signing for Levante at 17.

In 2012, aged 18, she returned to Barca. Over the last decade, she has seen the team turn professional and played a key role as they have transformed into the best team in Europe.

She had made close to 400 appearances for the club and, after the departure of Vicky Losada to Manchester City in the summer, was recently named as the new first-team captain.

2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin rankings

  1. Alexia Putellas
    2. Jennifer Hermoso
    3. Sam Kerr
    4. Vivianne Miedema
    5. Lieke Martens
    6. Christine Sinclair
    7. Pernille Harder
    8. Ashley Lawrence
    9. Jessie Fleming
    10. Fran Kirby
    11. Magda Eriksson
    12. Christiane Endler
    13. Stina Blackstenius
    14. Sam Mewis
    15. Irene Paredes
    16. Ellen White
    17. Kadidiatou Diani
    18. Marie-Antoinette Katoto
    19. Sandra Panos
    20. Wendie Renard

Catarina Macario & Team USA Claim Bronze in the Women’s Soccer Tournament at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

Catarina Macario is returning home with some special hardware…

The 21-year-old Brazil-born American soccer player, the first naturalized citizen ever to play for the US senior women’s soccer team, and her Team USA mates claimed the bronze medal in the women’s tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Catarina Macario

Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe sealed the Olympic medal for Team USA with two goals each in Kashima, Japan, aided by a late defensive effort to survive a dramatic comeback by Australia, winning by a final score of 4-3.

Team USA’s quest for another gold ended in a 1-0 semifinal loss to Canada.

Catarina Macario

The Americans previously won gold medals at the 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games, as well as a silver in Australia in 2000.

While this could be the final Olympic run for a number USWNT members, Macario could be the next star.

Team USA Women's Soccer Team

Macario reached the women’s national team this year at only 21 years old as she has continued her escalation up the list of national teams. She has been on the U.S. U14, U15 and U23 teams. Competing at Stanford, she became only the sixth women’s soccer player to win the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the best collegiate soccer player, twice as she racked up 46 goals in 44 games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Macario is continuing to gain professional experience playing for Lyon in Division 1 Feminine in France, where she has scored five goals in seven appearances. The midfielder is already a dynamic talent, and could make the step up to become the next big name of U.S. women’s soccer.

Bad Bunny to Appear on HBO/HBO Max’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted”

Bad Bunny is hittin’ the shop…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican superstar will be making an appearance on The Shop: Uninterrupted’s upcoming fourth season.

Bad Bunny

The show is set to premiere on Friday May 28 on HBO and HBO Max.

In addition to Bad Bunny, the other stars joining LeBron James and Maverick Carter for the season premiere are iconic music mogul Jay-Z; WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike; and marketing executive Paul Rivera.

The group will discuss confidence on the big stage, parenthood and WrestleMania.

Staged periodically throughout the year, the show offers conversation and debate between some of the biggest names in sport and entertainment.

Past guests include Drake, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Jimmy Kimmel, Patrick Mahomes, Lil Nas X, Will Smith, Megan Rapinoe, Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski and most recently, Barack Obama.

Executive producers are  James, Carter, Jamal Henderson, Devin Johnson and Philip Byron; director is Robert Alexander; producers are Kevin McGrail, Brandon Riley and Rob Roediger; co-executive producer is Camille Maratchi; and creators are Paul Rivera and Randy Mims.

Soledad O’Brien to Talk About The Media on This Week’s Episode of Peacock’s Late-Night Comedy “Wilmore”

Soledad O’Brien is ready to talk ship with Larry Wilmore.

The 54-year-old half-Afro-Cuban American broadcast journalist and executive producer will appear on this week’s episode of Wilmore, the Peacock late-night comedy fronted by Wilmore.

Soledad O’Brien

The episode, which will focus on the media, will also feature The West Wing star Bradley Whitford and Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd.

O’Brien is the host of Matter of Fact, a nationally syndicated talk show produced by Hearst Television. She is chairwoman of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production company and distributor that she founded in 2013. She’s also a member of the Peabody Awards board of directors, which is presented by the University of Georgia‘s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 

She previously worked as an anchor for CNN, and has worked as a correspondent for Al Jazeera America and HBO‘s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Wilmore is going into his sixth show since launching on the streamer. Other topics he has tackled include protests, voter suppression, police, class, and comparing where we are to the 2016 presidential election.

Guests have included U.S. women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Charlamagne Tha God, Andrew Yang, Roy Wood Jr. and Chloé Hilliard as well as his Peacock peer Amber Ruffin.

Rita Moreno Dons ‘Vote’ Mask as Part of When We All Vote’s New ‘Get Out The Vote’ Campaign

Rita Moreno isn’t masking her feelings about the importance of voting this year…

With the November election right around the corner, the 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actress and Latina icon is encouraging people to do their civic duty without uttering a single word.

Rita Moreno

Moreno is taking part in When We All Vote’s new campaign.

Director and producer Allen Hughes has brought together a wide range of artists, athletes, industry leaders, and notable community members wearing a “VOTE” face covering to inspire maximum voter participation.

When We All Vote

Those taking part in this year’s mask campaign include Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Robert De Niro, Larry David, Megan Rapinoe, Sean Penn, David Crosby, Snoop Dogg, Diane von Furstenberg, Padma Lakshmi, Sterling K Brown, Tyler Oakley, Kevin Love, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow, Lindsey Vonn, Michael Keaton, Bryan Cranston, Sandra Oh, Steve Buscemi, Pamela Adlon, Christopher Poindexter, Rita Moreno, Iliza Shlesinger, and Deepak Chopra, along with healthcare worker Cady Chaplin.

“This is clearly an existential election year, and it’s critical that every eligible voter in every community engage in this election,” Hughes says. “The very soul of our nation is on the ballot November 3rd, 2020.”

Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote uses a data-driven approach to increase participation in elections. The group focuseson increasing participation in every election while closing the race and age voting gap. The goal is to change the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

In addition, Michelle Obama has added Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Megan Rapinoe, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Rita Wilson to this year’s co-chair list.

For more information on the organization and its new campaign, visit whenweallvote.org.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Appear on HBO’s New Talk Show Special “Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is joining the conversation…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician, who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, will appear on Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe, the Team USA soccer star’s new talk show special for HBO.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On the special, Rapinoe will engage with guests like Ocasio-Cortez in today’s cultural conversations. 

The goal is to help shape the ongoing cultural conversation that’s been taking place during this significant time in our country’s history.

“It is an honor to host a show with a critical conversation between some of America’s most innovative thought leaders,” Rapinoe said. “I am so thankful to HBO for providing such a powerful platform for this important dialogue.”

In addition to AOC, the special will include appearances by comedian and Netflix’s Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Seeing America with Megan Rapinoewill premiere at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 PT on Saturday, August 1.

Rapinoe, a two-time Women’s World Cup winner with Team USA, has made international headlines for years through a combination of her talent on the field and her dedication to activism. From kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 in support of Colin Kaepernick to her success and unyielding outspokenness throughout the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, where she was named the tournament’s most outstanding performer, Rapinoe’s ability to galvanize worldwide attention on social, economic and political issues has transformed her into one of the country’s most recognizable and admired advocates for change.

“We are grateful Megan Rapinoe would choose HBO as home for this conversation and look forward to more opportunities with her to continue this dialogue,” said Peter Nelson, EVP of HBO Sports. “Megan is fearless in speaking out on issues.”

America Ferrera Signs Open Letter Urging Local Governments to Decrease Police Budgets

America Ferrera is calling for decreased police funding…

The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and activist has joined the likes of John LegendCommon, the WeekndLizzoJane Fonda, and others to signed a new open letter urging local governments to decrease police budgets in favor of spending more on health care, education, and other community programs. 

Others to sign the letter include Megan RapinoeYada Shahidi, and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.

The letter was released by activist Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives, a coalition of more than 100 black-rights organizations. 

The letter arrived in conjunction with #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused, a grassroots campaign within the music industryto pause work today, June 2nd, and “reconnect with our community.” 

Talib KweliNatalie PortmanBrie Larson and Taraji P. Henson also signed the letter.

The open letter ties the deaths of unarmed black people like George FloydAhmaud ArberyBreonna TaylorTony McDade, and others to the disproportionately devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on black communities. 

The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” it states. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too. Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets. In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.To know more about health check this site.

Noting, for instance, that state and local government spending on police and corrections jumped from $60 billion to $194 billion between 1977 and 2017, the letter lays out an array of different ways that money could be used. “It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.”

At the end, the letter lays out its three demands and asks all signees to encourage their local officials to take the pledge as well: “Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”

Bad Bunny to Take Part in LeBron James’ “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” Special

Bad Bunnyis celebrating the Class of 2020

The LeBron James Family Foundation announced that it’s paying tribute to the class of 2020 with a one-hour multimedia event called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, with the 26-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singer joining the roster of participating artists.

Bad Bunny

James’ virtual graduation party for this year’s graduation class, who’s seen their school year cancelled because of the coronavirus, will take place on Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 pm ET simultaneously on NBCABCCBS, and Fox— as well as on the streaming platforms Complex NetworksFacebook app, InstagramPeople TVSnapchatTikTok and YouTube.

In addition to Bad Bunny, the lineup includes Kane BrownLana CondorDavid DobrikDolan TwinsKarol GLiza KoshyMaren Morris, National Teacher of the Year Rodney RobinsonOlivia WildeZendaya, Charli D’AmelioDixie D’AmelioChika, YBN Cordae, Loren GrayH.E.R., the Jonas BrothersBrandan Bmike Odums, Ben PlattHenry PlattJonah Platt, Megan RapinoeYara ShahidiLena Waithe, Pharrell WilliamsMalala Yousafzaiand many more.

Working with the XQ Instituteand The Entertainment Industry Foundation, the show will allow the companies to honor the more than three million high school seniors who’ll miss out on the annual rite of passage due to the national shutdown caused by the COVID-19pandemic.

“We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics,” said James in a statement.

“It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together—students, parents, educators, community members, and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time. These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it.”

The commercial-free show will be curated by high school students and educators from across the country, with support from the American Federation of Teachers, highlighted by a collection of commencement addresses, celebrity performances and inspirational vignettes.

Students, educators, and families are encouraged to submit their videos and photos online for consideration to be included in the telecast using #GraduateTogether. Artist JR is also inviting seniors to share their portraits for a national virtual yearbook celebrating the entire Class of 2020

Local TV stations will feature custom breakaways to celebrate the achievements of high school students in their communities.

Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020will be broadcast commercial-free on May 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.