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BET will kick-off its ‘Juneteenth Freedom Day Marathon,’ under its “Content For Change” initiative, with inspirational films, music videos and messages of hope starting Friday, June 19, at 7 AM ET/PT

Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Corey Booker, Rev. Al Sharpton, Chloe x Halle, Soledad O’Brien, TIP ‘T.I.’ Harris, “American Soul’s” Sinqua Walls, “Pose’s” Indya Moore and MJ Rodriguez, YG, Naturi Naughton, Loni Love, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and more to share what freedom and Blackness mean to them via original interstitials throughout Juneteenth across linear, digital and social platforms


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BET kicks off its “Content For Change” initiative on Juneteenth – the national commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States – with a day-long array of programming celebrating the resilience of the African American spirit. Starting at 7 AM PT, BET will premiere social justice episodes of series, inspirational films, music videos, messages of perseverance, tenacity and hope from leading Black voices to showcase Black achievement across all of our platforms, including:

“Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story”Tweet this

  • Alicia Garza, Founder, Black Futures Lab & Co-founder, Black Lives Matter
  • Angie Nwandu, Blogger and Founder, The Shade Room
  • Brittney Cooper, Author, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
  • Chloe x Halle, R&B duo
  • Derrick Johnson, NAACP President
  • Emerald Garner, Daughter of Eric Garner, Activist
  • Gerard Bush, Filmmaker, “Antebellum”
  • Indya Moore, “Pose”
  • Jac Ross, Singer
  • Jericho Brown, 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet
  • Jonathan McReynolds, Gospel singer and “Sunday Best” judge
  • Jon B. King Jr., fmr. Secretary of Education, Obama Administration
  • Kiana Ledé, Singer
  • Kwame Onwuachi, Celebrity Chef, Kith and Kin
  • Loni Love, Comedian and host
  • Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Mayor
  • Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, first African American to serve as a Lt. Governor in Wisconsin
  • MJ Rodriguez, “Pose”
  • Naturi Naughton, “Power”
  • Novi Brown, “Tyler Perry’s Sistas”
  • Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change
  • Reginald Hudlin, Film Director, “Marshall”
  • Rep. Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis & Georgia Congresswoman
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Congresswoman
  • Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leader, founder & President of the National Action Network
  • Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Executive Director of the Poor People’s Campaign
  • Rome Flynn, “How To Get Away with Murder”
  • Sen. Cory Booker, US Senator, (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, US Senator, (D-CA)
  • Sinqua Walls, “American Soul”
  • Soledad O’Brien, Journalist
  • Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Rapper/Actor
  • YG, Rapper

The ‘Juneteenth Freedom Day Marathon’ programming line-up on BET includes:

    • MARTIN
  • 3 PM* – “RACE”

*All Times ET/PT

BET+ commemorates Juneteenth:

BET+ continues the conversation in support of Black representation, highlighting the importance of Blackness as an everyday topic. Because it’s a movement, not a moment. BET+ is a premium online streaming service with over 2000+ hours of content between exclusive originals, thousands of TV episodes and movies from the best Black creators. In commemoration of Juneteenth, the premium service will make some of its top social justice titles available for free including “Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story”

Short Form Content on-air and online includes:

  • Music Videos from:
    • Andra Day feat. Common – “Stand Up For Something”
    • Common & John Legend – “Glory”
    • Public Enemy – “Fight The Power”
  • “Dear Black People” spot, a heartfelt message of love, joy and power to the Black community from BET to viewers that celebrates the beauty and strength of Black culture, the Black Experience and affirms its commitment to stand with the Black community in the demand for liberation. Link to “Dear Black People” spot:
  • BET Digital’s interactive content series, “BET House Party Presents “How To Make Good Trouble”:
    • BET is partnering with Participant to launch the John Lewis: Good Trouble impact campaign. BET News’ Marc Lamont Hill hosts “How to Make Good Trouble,” four powerful live conversations on BET’s Instagram page. The exclusive interviews will highlight Congressman Lewis’ legacy of fighting for civil & voting rights, educational steps about voting rights and how to support the Good Trouble Impact Campaign.” Follow @BET on Instagram and tune in at the following times:
      • 11 AM ET for a live discussion with Reverend William Barber II, Executive Director of the Poor People’s Campaign (​@revdrbarber​)
      • 12 PM ET for a live discussion with Erika Alexander, Co-Producer and Co-Founder of Color Farm Media and Board Member of VoteRunLead (@erikaalexanderthegreat​)
      • 1 PM ET for a live discussion with Dawn Porter, the film’s director/producer (​@dawnporterfilm)
      • 3 PM ET for a live discussion with Dr. Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College (​@Participant​)

BET’s “Content For Change” initiative supports the creation, distribution, marketing and promotion of content that will help drive the critical changes needed to eliminate systemic racism and inequality in America. To support this unprecedented undertaking, BET and its corporate partners will dedicate $25 million to the Content for Change initiative in aggregated value. More details on additional ViacomCBS efforts supporting this initiative are forthcoming.

For more information visit and join the conversation using the hashtag #JuneteenthOnBET.

I’m also doing a panel for these great organizations.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences launched its fourth Academy Gold internship program.

The program, which is being held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers mentorship for 74 students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.

“We are so thankful for our industry partners, who share the Academy’s commitment to creating meaningful opportunities that move the needle on inclusion in our community,” said Academy governor and education and outreach committee chair Nancy Utley of Searchlight Pictures, said in a statement. “Their support is integral to the success of Academy Gold, and we commend them on finding innovative ways to continue their internship programs during this challenging and uncertain time.”

Participating partners include AMC Networks, Bron Studios, Circle of Confusion, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, DTS (part of Xperi Corporation), FotoKem, HBO, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund, Moving Picture Institute, Panavision/Light Iron, Paradigm Talent Agency, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Telsey + Company, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Warner Bros.

Each partner will sponsor up to three interns. The program began on Wednesday with a two-day orientation that includes Academy governors, members and other industry speakers, studio and agency panels and virtual tours of the Academy’s Film Archive, Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

“In the face of a pandemic and our continued efforts to drive equity in our industry, the decision on whether or not to proceed with the Academy Gold program this summer was very clear,” Academy COO Christine Simmons said. “Our pipeline program is even more critical at a time when underrepresented communities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The needs are heightened, and we are dedicated to delivering an educational, fun and rewarding virtual experience for these students and young professionals that will change their trajectory in our industry.”

At the end of the eight-week program, interns will be paired with an Academy member for an eight-month mentorship.

There are close to 300 Academy Gold program alumni, more than 85% of whom have moved into positions within the industry, with 27% in positions higher than entry level. It represents 74% people of color, 64% women, 30% LGBTQ+ and 6% with a disability, according to the Academy.

Panels will include Stephanie Allain (producer); Victoria Alonso (executive VP of production for Marvel Studios); Annie Chang (VP of creative technologies for Universal Pictures); Matthew Cherry (writer-director); Jon M. Chu (director); Julie Ann Crommett (VP of multicultural audience engagement for The Walt Disney Studios); Michael Goi (cinematographer); Tiffany Haddish (actor); Reginald Hudlin (producer-director); Franklin Leonard (founder and CEO of The Black List); Patrushkha Mierzwa (sound technician); Rachel Morrison (cinematographer); Daryn Okada (cinematographer); Academy president David Rubin (casting director); Kimberly Snyder(CEO of Panavision); Wynn P. Thomas (production designer); Karen Rupert Toliver (executive VP of creative for Sony Pictures Animation); Mark Ulano (sound mixer) and Mary Vogt (costume designer).

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Two Saturdays ago I got a call at home, now a two hour special is about to go worldwide! 

MediaPunch/Shutterstock (Palmer); James Warren/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (Common)

YouTube announced a multiyear, $100 million fund dedicated to “amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories,” according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

“At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism,” Wojcicki wrote in a blog post. “We’re committed to doing better as a platform to center and amplify Black voices and perspectives.

As an example of content being funded under the new initiative, Wojcicki announced that this Saturday, June 13, YouTube will host a livestream fundraising event produced by YouTube Originals called “Bear Witness, Take Action.”

Hosted by Common and Keke Palmer, “Bear Witness, Take Action” will be structured with roundtable discussions and panels, live moments, musical tributes — including performances from John Legend and Trey Songz — and more. The event kicks off Saturday, June 13, at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. The special will aim to inspire and unite key and meaningful voices (YouTube creators, influential public figures, prominent activist voices) to create change, heighten awareness and raise funding for racial justice, according to YouTube.

In addition, throughout the month of June, YouTube’s Spotlight channel will highlight racial justice issues, including the latest perspectives from the Black community on YouTube alongside historical content, educational videos, and protest coverage. “This content showcases incredibly important stories about the centuries-long fight for equity,” Wojcicki said.

“I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I think it’s imperative that we help amplify Black voices and continue the conversation about meaningful change and racial justice,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content. “YouTube has a unique ability to unite creators, artists and powerful voices within the Black community to encourage the world to stand up and speak out for racial justice.”

“Bear Witness, Take Action” viewers will be encouraged to donate to support the Equal Justice Initiative directly on the YouTube livestream.

Moderators include Jemele Hill, Roland S. Martin and Soledad O’Brien. Panelists include Ambers Closet, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Patrisse Cullors, Kimberly N. Foster, Alicia Garza, Roxane Gay, Eddie Glaude, Kimberly Jones, Jouelzy, MN FATS, Prince EA, Rashad Robinson, Bakari Sellers, Michael Skolnik, Chaz Smith and Baratunde Thurston.

Special guests are set to include Tremayne Anchrum, Carmelo Anthony, AyChristeneGames, Danielle Bainbridge, Essang Bassey, Shalom Blac, Asante Blackk, Sterling K. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Duke Dawson, De’arra & Ken, Khadi Don, Rasul Douglas, Teala Dunn, Bryce Hall, Skai Jackson, Jamilla & Que, Jarvis Landry, Alonzo Lerone, Indya Moore, Jeff Okudah, Laviska Shenault Jr., Bryan Stevenson, sWooZie and Wilmer Valderrama.

“Bear Witness, Take Action” is produced by LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment, Fly on the Wall and Byron Phillips. Reginald Hudlin serves as executive producer and showrunner.

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