100 DAYS OUT FROM ELECTION DAY BLACK LEADERS DECLARE SEPTEMBER 18 NATIONAL BLACK VOTER DAY

07/26/20

BET, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE AND KEY IMPACT PARTNERS, INCLUDING NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK, NAACP, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, COLOR OF CHANGE, HIGHER HEIGHTS, WHEN WE ALL VOTE, BLACK VOTERS MATTER, THE COLLECTIVE PAC, LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW, ELECTION PROTECTION, THE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE BLACK ECONOMIC ALLIANCE SET NATIONAL DAY TO GALVANIZE BLACK VOTERS

(New York, NY) July 26, 2020 – In partnership with the National Urban League and other key civil rights organizations, BET has announced the next phase of its #ReclaimYourVote campaign, which declares the first-ever National Black Voter Day to be recognized on September 18, 2020. The announcement comes 100 days out from Election Day and aims to energize and galvanize Black voters nationwide to take collective action toward civic engagement. The date coincides with the country’s first early voting day, in South Dakota and Minnesota – the latter being ground zero of the fight for racial justice since the killing of George Floyd.

 “With 100 days until Election Day—it is critical for BET to utilize all of our resources and partnerships to drive Black civic engagement across the country, and the National Black Voter Day is a key part of this effort,” said Scott Mills, President, BET. “We will use the momentum of the fight against systemic racism to galvanize those marching in protest to march to the polls in November.”

“We have witnessed attempts to exclude Black Americans from the voting process through the purging of registration rolls, restrictive voter ID laws and other forms of voter suppression – a legacy of Jim Crow,” added Jeanine Liburd, Chief Social Impact & Communications Officer. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the National Urban League and an incredible group of impact partners to declare September 18 National Black Voter Day to energize our audience to reclaim their vote during this upcoming election and beyond.”

In addition to the National Urban League, key impact partners signed on, including the National Action Network, NAACP, When We All Vote, Black Voters Matter, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Collective PAC, Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, Election Protection, The Leadership Conference On Civil And Human Rights and The Black Economic Alliance. This list is in formation.

“The pandemic and racial justice protests have shone a bright light on the stark racial disparities that exist in health care, the economy and our criminal justice system,” National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said. “If we are to repair these gaps, we must commit ourselves to making sure every Black American has the tools they need to register and cast an informed vote, whether by mail or in-person, early or on Election Day.”

"It has become clear that voter suppression is an integral part of the electoral strategy of some partisan political groups—there’s no end in sight to their ruthless disenfranchisement tactics,” added Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President of National Action Network (NAN). “We must not allow these efforts to prevent us from exercising our Constitutional right to vote. 2016 proved in the most dangerous ways that elections have consequences, which is why 2020 is shaping up to be the most important election of our lifetime. I, along with the National Action Network, wholeheartedly stand with BET's voter registration efforts through National Black Voter Day. The last few months have shown us that we are literally fighting for our lives."

"Since Black Americans claimed the right to vote in this country, we've seen our suffrage enfeebled, and our citizenship denied," said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. "Once again, America is at an inflection point and with only 100 days left until November 3rd, we must remain intentional in our collective power to use our scared vote. We're living in a moment that presents us an opportunity to galvanize our agency and shift the deleterious paradigm that disenfranchises our community and create change where it has not been possible."

Demystifying the process of voting for Black citizens in a COVID-19 world, #ReclaimYourVote will break down the necessary steps to make our voices heard. From securing and checking your voter registration to making a plan for how to vote and what to vote for to gathering your friends and family to vote with you, #ReclaimYourVote is committed to ensuring every step of the process is clear and accessible for Black voters.

#ReclaimYourVote launched earlier this year to identify significant electoral issues, demystify confusing civic processes, share ways to remain protected while voting in a COVID-19 environment, and highlight specific opportunities for Black Americans to reclaim our collective power through civic engagement. To date, #ReclaimYourVotehas leveraged activations, talent, civil rights partnerships and television spots to urge the Black community to be counted in the census and to take a stand and vote.

In the days leading up to National Black Voter Day, BET and its impact partners will launch an array of initiatives and provide content to inform, empower and mobilize Black Americans’ participation in the November elections. The resources will ensure voters have access to voter registration information, provide guidance on voting rights restoration for eligible voters and engage the candidates on the issues that matter most within our community.

For more information, please visit www.BET.com.

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms and using the hashtags: #ReclaimYourVote and #BETVote and following us @BET, @BETVote, and @BETNews.

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 The National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit https://nul.org/ and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.


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BET

Mia Scott-Aime

917.769.4689

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National Urban League

Teresa Candori

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