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Press Release

BET’s Prime-Time Event Raises More Than $15M for United Ways and African American Communities

Alexandria, VA (April 24, 2020)  This week’s telecast of Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort on Black Entertainment Television (BET) raised $15.2 million to support the work of six local United Ways who are providing relief services to African American communities facing  from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including food insecurity and severe economic distress. 

Proceeds from the Fund will go to United Way Worldwide, for distribution to local United Ways in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York.  Donations will enable these United Ways and their local partners to continue to provide vital services to help African American communities meet immediate emergency needs.       

“We are proud to have partnered with BET on such a successful event, and we are encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support we have seen for the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Stan Little, Chief Experience Officer for United Way Worldwide. “The reality, though, is this is a drop in the bucket of what will be needed to drive recovery and rebuilding in these communities.  We look forward to working with BET to not only provide this immediate relief, but to build stronger and more resilient communities for the long term.”

The BET COVID-19 Relief Fund was established in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support relief efforts in cities where the African American population has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic disruption that has resulted. A network of African American business leaders provided initial grants to the Fund, which also received donations from a host of corporate entities, including Salesforce, Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, McDonald’s, BNY Mellon, American Express, AARP, Pine-Sol, Morgan Stanley, TJX, The Ford Foundation, WW (Formerly Weight Watchers), the NBA, RLJ Companies, Chicago Trading Company, Advancing Black Pathways and Popeyes.

The BET COVID-19 Relief Fund will remain open for donations through August 31st.  Those who wish to donate go to www.BET.com or text “BETGives” to 51555.

Recent reports show that the health outcomes and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are disproportionately impacting the African American community.  Mortality rates for COVID-19 are higher for African Americans; financial instability is being worsened by layoffs and closures in sectors like retail, hospitality, and healthcare, where African American workers are over-represented; and low-income African American students face a greater risk of learning loss and inadequate access to nutritious food with massive school closures.

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

Media Contact

LeToya Glenn-Bacon

Dezmon Gilmore

Pamela Rucker Springs

Southerlyn Reisig
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Marc Banks