BET announced Thursday that it is launching a $25 million campaign titled “Content for Change.”
The initiative is being carried out by BET and various corporations, civil rights groups, and social justice organizations with the intent to positively impact social justice outcomes for Black Americans. It will support the creation, distribution, marketing, and promotion of content aimed at ending systemic racism in America in areas such as education, healthcare, civic participation, and economic empowerment.
“For forty years, BET has been a unifying space for Black people to be seen, heard, showcased and celebrated,” BET president Scott Mills said. “As many in America move more boldly and with a greater sense of urgency to address racial inequities, we will utilize the full breadth of our capabilities and partnerships to help drive this critical change.”
The initiative will begin on June 19, also known as Juneteenth—the nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States–with programming celebrating the resilience of the African American spirit. BET will premiere original short-form programming, including messages of inspiration, tenacity and hope from Black political leaders and activists. The network will also air the films “Selma,” “Marshall,” “Race,” and “Do the Right Thing.”
Furthermore, BET has crafted a message titled “Dear Black People.” The spot is meant to celebrate the beauty and strength of Black culture, the Black Experience and to affirm the network’s commitment to stand with the Black community in the demand for liberation.
News of the BET campaign comes as many networks and corporations have committed funds to help the cause of racial justice in America in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 during an arrest by the city’s police force. Officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, with Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” Since then, mass protests have occurred across the United States and abroad against racism and police brutality.