June 12, 2020
ViacomCBS’s BET has launched a $25 million social justice initiative, “Content for Change,” an expansive campaign aiming to use the media plays in shaping and driving individuals’ and communities’ values, perceptions and actions on racial equality.
BET, in partnership with corporate, civil rights and social justice organizations, says it would leverage its position and platforms to positively impact social justice outcomes for Black Americans. The initiative will support the creation, distribution, marketing and promotion of content that will help drive the critical changes needed to eliminate systemic racism and inequality in America.
“For 40 years, BET has been a unifying space for black people to be seen, heard, showcased and celebrated,” president Scott Mills said in a statement. “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.”
Through the initiative, BET will expand relationships with and support of social justice organizations’ efforts to drive change. In addition, the network will bolster relationships with current content partners and forge relationships with up-and-coming creators to use its platform to rally the voices of Black lives, experiences and calls to action.
The campaign follows in the wake of the death of George Floyd and on the heels of the SOS COVID-19 Relief Effort, which raised $17 million, and the series of recent BET News specials.
This initiative will begin June 19, on 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. BET will also air inspirational movies, Selma, Marshall, Race and Do the Right Thing.