Detroit is among a select group of local United Ways that will benefit from the new COVID-19 Relief Fund created by Black Entertainment Television (BET) in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support African American communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BET will host a broadcast special, Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort, to raise money for the Fund which will go to support community-based programs of local United Ways in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City – cities where the African American population has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort will be co-hosted by Grammy Award-Winning singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J, actress Regina Hall and actor Anthony Anderson. Celebrity guest appearances and performances will include DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Melvin Crispell III, and many more. The special will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources during this unprecedented time.
“We are so grateful to BET for holding this relief telethon that will benefit organizations serving people of color in Detroit and in five other communities across the country. As the pandemic continues to impact everyone, it’s even more important to make sure vulnerable populations are supported, Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Everyone can make a difference. It’s important to mobilize our collective power during this crisis.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has left no state untouched, recent studies show that it is having a disproportionately negative impact on African American communities in multiple ways. Death rates from COVID-19 are higher for African Americans; financial instability is being worsened by layoffs and closures in sectors like retail, hospitality, and healthcare, where African American workers are over-represented; and low-income African American students face a greater risk of learning loss and inadequate access to nutritious food with massive school closures.
Financial donations from the BET COVID-19 Relief Fund will allow United Way for Southeastern Michigan to support the work of our community partners, including Neighborhood Services Organization who provides support services to individuals experiencing homelessness. During this crisis, Neighborhood Service Organization has launched a recuperative care center, which will provide 50 beds for discharged patients recovering from COVID-19 who do not have safe places to continue their recovery. The goal of the project is to offer a safe place for recovery, prevent re-hospitalization and allow for more efficient use of hospital beds.
“Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” airs Wednesday, April 22nd, at 8 pm EST.