News Press Release

Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET to Focus on Health, Economic and Social Impact of Pandemic on African American Community

April 4, 2020

Media Contacts:

FOR NAACP:

Marc Banks

dbanks@naacpnet.org

For BET:

Luis Defrank

Luis.defrank@bet.net

 

 THIS FOUR-PART CONVERSATION WILL BE A RESOURCE TO EMPOWER BLACK PEOPLE TO BUILD AN EFFECTIVE ACTION PLAN DURING THESE UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

#COVIDUnmasked

New York, NY April 3, 2020 – Today, BET announced a partnership with civil rights organization and stewards of human rights, the NAACP, on a four-part virtual town hall series “Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET” focused on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall kicks-off on Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, and will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable. Viewers can participate LIVE via an interactive toll-free conference call that will also be streamed at https://naacp.org/call-to-action-program/. To participate via phone dial 866-757-0756 and to join the conversation on social media follow @NAACP and @BET.

 

“As the world faces unprecedented times and new realities during this global pandemic, the health and safety of people around the planet, particularly African Americans, are at an unparalleled risk,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “The occasion to uplift and educate our community during this pivotal moment charts a pathway forward through uncertain times. The NAACP, in partnership with BET, is committed to rising to meet this moment head-on through this informative four-part series.”

 

“As the devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic mounts, BET is developing partnerships and programs to support our community through this global health and financial crisis,” said Scott Mills, President of BET.  “We’re proud to work with our long-time partner the NAACP on this important town hall series that will provide comprehensive information for African Americans that will empower and help the community move forward during these difficult times.”

 

In the United States alone, close to 200,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed. Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country’s infrastructure, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black and Brown communities. The town hall series will help separate facts from myths and directly address how to ensure that the policies and practices that are born out of this pandemic justly address the health, economic and social needs of all people. The weekly series will focus on issues such as the state impact, response, and what comes next to advocating for your local community to the impact to schools, school systems, colleges, and exposed divisions.

 

Media interested in joining the Virtual Town Hall can register at UNMASKED: COVID-19 (https://support.naacp.org/onlineactions/JKmMeHclLE6WsZC4bx0V7A2).

 

For more information and resources of this pandemic, go to BET.com. The entire town hall will be available on-demand across BET’s social and digital platforms immediately after. More information can be found at NAACP.org about resources for those impacted by the coronavirus.

 

About BET

BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at naacp.org.

 

 

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Media Contacts:

For BET:

Luis Defrank

Luis.defrank@bet.net

FOR NAACP

Marc Banks

dbanks@naacpnet.org