S.E. Williams | Contributor
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
In response to the growing and unconscionable death rate of African-Americans—and other minorities—resulting from the spread of COVID-19, influential Black leaders and others are launching initiatives to help members of these communities cope with the disease’s devastating impact.
In support of this effort, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has announced an all-star special, “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”
The broadcast will feature entertainers from a variety of genres, including—DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia and Melvin Crispell III and others as they rally in support of Black and other minority communities being devastated by the coronavirus.
The program will air Wednesday, April 22 at 5:00 pm PDT; 8:00 p.m. EDT.
Singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J and actress Regina Hall will host the event that will include the provision of up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, while also directing viewers to where they can access needed resources during this unprecedented time.
“Every day, there are new reports of how this pandemic is killing African-Americans at much higher rates than other communities,” said Scott Mills, BET president. “BET is using all of our resources—our capital, our media platforms, our relationships with the creative community, sponsors, businesses and charitable organizations—to support our community in this time of crisis.”
This special fund-raising event is being presented in partnership with the United Way and all proceeds will be donated to African American communities most severely impacted by COVID-19.
“Saving Our Selves,” is only one of several initiatives being provided by BET to support communities of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to Black Americans being disproportionately harmed both health-wise and economically by the devastation COVID-19 has wrought, BET—in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities—has committed to provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to African-American communities hardest hit by COVID-19 crisis.
In partnership with the United Way, BET has also created a relief fund to receive financial donations that will be disbursed to local charities providing food and emergency assistance to communities most in need of help.
Mills stressed BET’s continuing commitment to this important effort and further highlighted how, “The COVID-19 pandemic is savagely compounding the profound health and financial vulnerabilities many Black Americans face.”