Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Tell NYC Class of 2020 to Vote and 'Get Involved' in Keynote Speech
By Liz Calvario
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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are celebrating New York City's class of 2020! The entertainer and the former New York Yankee delivered a heartfelt keynote speech during Tuesday's virtual citywide graduation celebration. While many ceremonies and special events were forced to cancel amid the coronavirus pandemic, J-Rod took a moment to congratulate the graduating seniors, as well as share some words of wisdom.
"Jen and I are both New Yorkers, first-generation Americans whose immigrant parents worked hard to give us the opportunity to live the American Dream," Rodriguez began.
"You know, we've had our ups and downs, but we continue to fight the fight," added J.Lo. "And one of the ways we do that is by trying to teach our four children the right way to do things. Not just with words, but with actions."
The two continued sharing their stories of how hard they worked to build their careers, before touching on the importance of current events, ways to defeat systemic racism, and the importance of voting in the upcoming election. While they acknowledge that they didn't have to worry about a pandemic, they shared that they always pushed themselves to achieve their dreams and got involved.
"You have to get involved. Start by focusing on your family and those closest to you," Lopez explained. "Me, being a mom, I know that true change starts at the kitchen table. The only answer to systemic racism, inequality and hate is systemic love and acceptance."
"We need to speak up and speak love every chance we get," she added, sharing ways to help one's community and the importance of voting. "You have to vote. If you aren't registered to vote, you need to."
"Do whatever you can, big or small, to make sure that those who represent you do in fact truly represent you," she added. "And please, don't let your education stop after graduating. You may have earned your degree today, but you never stop being a student. Make an effort to learn more and more every single day. That's a little something Alex and I practice every chance we get."
The two continued by sharing how the class of 2020 are the future leaders and can make a difference. They closed their speech by sharing how people should remember 2020.
"Let 2020 be remembered not as the year that your senior year was cut short, but the moment when your view of what is possible expanded," Lopez said. "Let 2020 be remembered not as the year that we had to isolate ourselves, but the moment that we came together as a people."
"Most of all, years from now, remember 2020 as the year when everything started to change and the year that you started on your journey to making sure that it did," she stated, before both of them congratulated graduates.