Alica Keys joined in her fellow celebs to take part in Sunday’s “Dear Class of 2020”.
In just one of the many powerful commencement speeches to happen, the Grammy Award winning singer told students “it’s okay to not be okay right now.”
“Dear Class of 2020, congratulations! You’ve accomplished something remarkable,” Keys started. “But let’s be honest, it’s been a hard week, and a hard month and a hard year. Right now, it may not feel like there’s much to celebrate, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay right now.”
She then turned her attention to the Black Lives Matter protests happening in the United States and around the globe.
“I know so many of you are not thinking about your time at school, you’re thinking about what’s happening right now in the present,” she said. “You’re thinking about marching and protesting and making sure your voices are heard in a time where we cannot be silent. And I feel you, so much. The world feels broken right now. It is broken right now in so many ways, but you’re taking your heartbreak and your outrage and you’re putting it into action and you are showing that your generation is the one that’s gonna heal this. And I promise to always be by your side no matter where the fight for justice takes us next.”
“The pain we’re experiencing now, it’s not new, but it feels different this time, right?” she continued. “I think for the first time, all of us, no matter what we look like or where we’re from, we can see so clearly what injustice looks like. Now, we all can choose how to respond. The change only happens if all of us educate ourselves, if we hold each other accountable when we register to vote and make sure our voices are heard in November.”
Looking ahead to the future, Keys had suggestions on how the students can be the positive change in the world.
“When all of us recognize our biases and find ways to empathize with people that look different than us or seem different than us on the surface, that’s the key right there,” Keys explained. “Empathize with those that seem different on the surface.”
She finished on a happy note as she had everyone throw their cap into the air.
“You my friends, you are graduates in the most powerful time to be coming of age,” she said. “And there’s nothing and no one that can stop you from changing the world. I see you. You’re unstoppable. We honour you and celebrate you.”