Encouraging remarks were given by Randall Woodfin, Mayor of the City of Birmingham
Nationwide — On April 26, 2020, a virtual graduation party was hosted by IGNITE! Alabama, a supportive ecosystem designed to educate and bridge communication gaps between organizations, service providers, and minorities (especially African Americans and women) within the state of Alabama.
The online event, which was held on IGNITE! Alabama’s Facebook and Instagram pages, featured special entertainment, celebrity guest speakers, giveaways, cell phones, laptop computers, gift cards, and cash prizes.
Founders of the organization say the event was essential because “life as we know it, has shifted dramatically.” Fear, anxiety, and frustration is at an all-time high with most Americans consumed with extreme concern and uncertainty about not only their families, basic needs, and businesses, but unfortunately, their very lives. Also, 2020 High School, College, and University graduates are experiencing an added layer of depression, frustration, and utter despair because a day that they have worked so hard for has been tragically taken away due to the COVID-19 quarantine.
The IGNITE! Alabama team decided to do their part in:
1. Bringing a “ray of sunshine,” hope, and joy during uncertain times
2. Showing empathy to 2020 graduates by acknowledging this colossal injustice
3. Encouraging and celebrating 2020 graduates and their families
4. Fostering a teachable moment to help youth turn a negative situation into a positive one.
More than 350 students from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, etc. participated, and it was a very unique opportunity to celebrate young people across the country for their hard work. High school and college students were able to see first hand how important it is to press forward even during difficult times.