BET Launches "National Black Voter Day" With Stacey Abrams, Soledad O'Brien PSAs (Exclusive)

stacey abrams, soledad o'brien and tina knowles lawson
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Steven Ferdman/FilmMagic; Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

The inaugural event is also leveraging partnerships with The Root, The Skimm, Entertainment Tonight and Black Enterprise to spread its message.

BET and the National Urban League are partnering with over 40 organizations and political, entertainment and media stars including Stacey Abrams, Soledad O'Brien and Tina Knowles-Lawson to launch an inaugural day encouraging Black Americans to vote and informing them on options for 2020's unique election.

The inaugural initiative, called National Black Voter Day, will take place on Sept. 18 and see multiple stars producing voting PSAs to be distributed on BET's platforms, those of its sister channels MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central and of media partners including The Root, The Skimm, Entertainment Tonight, Bounce and Black Enterprise. Stars that are taking part also include Twenties actor Jonica T. Gibbs, Tyler Perry's Sistas actor Mignon, Rhapsody, National Urban League CEO Marc H. Morial, Blavity, Inc. founder and CEO Morgan DeBaun and others. Sports stars including Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Udonis Haslem and Dwane Casey and more are also participating.

In addition to PSAs, partners in the effort will be providing and circulating resources that will inform Black Americans on voter registration and voting rights restorations, among other topics.

“BET continues to demystify the process of voting for Black citizens in a COVID-19 world, and #ReclaimYourVote will break down the necessary steps to make our voices heard. From securing and checking your voter registration, to making a plan for how to vote, to gathering your friends and family to vote with you, #ReclaimYourVote is committed to ensuring every step of the process is clear and accessible for Black voters,” BET chief social impact and communications officer Jeanine Liburd said in a statement. “Our partnership with the National Urban League and the expansive group of impact partners will combine as one mighty voice this September 18th on National Black Voter Day and beyond.”

The initiative is an extention of #ReclaimYourVote, a campaign launched earlier this year to clarify how to participate in civic duties such as being counted in the census and voting and stay safe doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In the current climate of uncertainty and unrest, it’s important to make a plan for voting – particularly for Black voters," National Urban League president and CEO Marc H. Morial said in statement. "Efforts to suppress the Black vote are coming from all sides, whether it’s restrictive state voting laws or foreign-based misinformation campaigns. National Black Voter Day is an opportunity to rise above the confusion and plot out a clear path to the ballot box. Whether by mask, in person, or by mail, it’s important to make a plan now, and execute that plan as early as possible according to the laws in each state. We’re leaving no voter behind in 2020."

Organizations and brands including the NAACP, Color of Change, Fair Fight Action, the National Action Network,  When We All Vote, the National Basketball Association, Lyft, Nordstrom and Pepsi Co. are also participating.