via press release:
UNCF® and BET Partner to Present an Entertainment-Filled Production of UNCF An Evening Of Stars® Presented by Target
Program Will Feature Star-Studded Performances Along With Education Success Stories
LOS ANGELES, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and BET have announced that they will join forces to make this year's edition of UNCF's long-running UNCF An Evening of Stars® the most exciting and moving in the program's 33-year history.
UNCF An Evening of Stars® has long been a showcase both for legendary and fast-rising stars from the music industry -- recent performers and prior honorees have included Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Stevie Wonder -- and for education success stories that embody the spirit of UNCF's iconic motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." ® Working together, UNCF and BET will combine the program's star-studded tradition with BET's proven record of attracting both the music industry's hottest talent and large, passionate audiences eager to engage in the issues we all face. Additionally, the new program aims to further rally the entertainment industry around the importance of education and the doors it can open.
"Our students and their need for a good education deserve the large and passionate audience that watches BET," said UNCF president and CEO, Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. "They deserve the best entertainers performing on stage and speaking out for the right to go to and through college, and they deserve to have their stories told in a way that everyone can connect to. Together, UNCF and BET can create a show that entertains at the same time it delivers on the opportunity to inform and activate new viewers around the UNCF mission of education for all Americans."
"We're excited to partner with UNCF for UNCF An Evening of Stars® amplifying their message and assisting in their goal to better support African-American students and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)," said Stephen Hill, President of Music and Specials Programming, BET Networks. "We have a phalanx of passionate BET folks (many of them HBCU grads) who look forward to producing and airing a great show celebrating the power of education and the need for everyone to engage with UNCF. We must ensure that we can educate our future."
The new UNCF An Evening of Stars® will be a musical variety show punctuated with short video segments spotlighting a few of the 60,000 students whose education UNCF supports every year, making the program a celebration of the best in entertainment and education. In addition, the new format will allow performers to perform the songs they are identified with and want to promote, thereby attracting the hottest talent and music. The show will be taped before a live audience on August 14, 2011 and will air on BET Networks this fall.
This year's show is made possible by Target, Presenting Sponsor of UNCF An Evening of Stars®, and National Sponsors, McDonald's and AT&T. Official, and Major Sponsors include American Airlines, Wells Fargo, BET Networks, Buick and the U.S. Army.
About UNCF An Evening of Stars®
UNCF An Evening of Stars®, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 32-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a Who's Who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars® received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder, its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson and its 2010 tribute to Lionel Richie. Learn more about UNCF An Evening of Stars® at www.UNCF.org.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. UNCF supports education through scholarships and other programs, by supporting its 38 member colleges and universities, and by advocating for the importance of minority education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. The UNCF logo features the torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.