National Black Voter Day: BET, Urban League Announce New Phase In Voting Rights Fight

National Black Voter Day returns for its second year, marking the next phase of BET & National Urban Leagues’ #ReclaimYourVote c
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Photos: BET

BET the nation's leading provider of quality content for African American audiences, announced Thursday that National Black Voter Day returns for its second year, marking the next phase of BET & National Urban Leagues’ #ReclaimYourVote campaign.

This year, the United States Congress has officially designated the third Friday in September to commemorate National Black Voter Day with a resolution amplified by Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03). In partnership with BET and the National Urban League, the CBC joins the already esteemed list of more than 40 key partners in support of BET’s ongoing commitment to engage, educate, and harness collective Black power to fight voter suppression, increase civic engagement and voting participation.

“Now, more than ever, BET is committed to driving Black civic engagement, combating the ongoing efforts to disenfranchise Black voters, and galvanizing our audience to exercise their power,” said BET President Scott Mills. “In between presidential election cycles, we are seeing more anti-voter legislation that erect unnecessary barriers for voters, with Black communities disproportionately affected by these efforts to undermine democracy. BET will commemorate our efforts to support the rights of Black voters every year with National Black Voter Day.”

“The current wave of racially-motivated voter suppression laws streaming out of statehouses across the country is the biggest threat to voting rights we have seen since dark days of Jim Crow,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “National Black Voter Day serves as a rallying cry for all Americans who hold the principles of democracy dear, and who refuse to be guided by hatred and fear.”

This year’s National Black Voter Day on September 17th coincides with the airing of two CBCF 50th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) signature events starting at 7 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her: the CBCF National Town Hall and the Phoenix Awards. This exclusive slate of “Foundation Friday” programming will include spots featuring an exclusive message from Vice President Kamala Harris.

“BET understands our duty to empower the Black community, and in alliance with several social activism organizations, we are equipped to continue our fight against the forms of voter suppression affecting our community.” said BET’s Chief Social Impact and Communications Officer Jeanine Liburd. “Nothing about us should ever be determined without us. Building upon the momentum of our previous #ReclaimTheVote campaign and our inaugural National Black Voter Day, we will amplify the voices of Black leaders and communities to empower Black voters throughout presidential elections, local elections, and beyond.”

Last year’s inaugural National Black Voter Day provided content to inform, empower and mobilize Black Americans’ participation ahead of the November election, which ultimately saw record Black voter turnout contributed to the nomination of the country’s first Black female Vice President.

This year, BET will be partnering with is The Collective Education Fund and their HBCU activation to register new, young Black voters. BET also partnered with Black Voters Matter and National Action Network ahead of their powerful marches in late August 2021 to fight voter suppression. To encourage virtual and in-person participation in this important cause and the upcoming marches, BET hosted an Instagram Live series featuring luminaries like LaTosha Brown and Dominique Sharpton Bright.

In addition, activist, educator, organizer, writer and MSNBC analyst Brittany Packnett Cunningham will moderate two special discussions on Instagram live. The first will launch at 11am ET featuring senior leadership from BET’s premier Reclaim Your Vote Partner, The National Urban League, and close with a 1:30 ET conversation featuring Black AF star and BET Studio’s own Rashida Jones, and co-founder of The Collective Education Fund, Stefanie Brown James. Both conversations promise to rouse voter engagement and inform our audience of the myriad ways they can protect and reclaim their votes.

National Black Voter Day will continue to provide resources to assist voter registration, demystify some of the confusing processes, educate voters on creating a voting plan and provide guidance on voting rights restoration for eligible voters.

To amplify the power of Black communities in creating the futures we deserve, BET alongside several civil and social impact partners, will recognize the third Friday of each September as National Black Voter Day this year and for the years to come.

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