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BET’s Connie Orlando shares how Black entertainers can help fight pandemic

Connie Orlando (Photo by A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

The Black community continues to be disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. Prominent entertainment figures in the Black community often have the voice and economic power to fuel the help needed.

On April 22, the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast will air on BET. Co-hosted by Grammy Award-winning singer, actress Kelly Rowland and TV personality Terrence J and actress Regina Hall; the event will feature virtual appearances and musical performances from some of the biggest names in music and entertainment as they share tips on how to manage, cope and help during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Celebrity guests will include Chance the Rapper, DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Melvin Crispell III, and more. The special will also give information and drive viewers to needed resources.

Connie Orlando, senior vice president of specials, music, and news at BET, recently discussed with rolling out the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”

What was the process of creating this BET special on COVID-19?

Bringing this special together has been like nothing we’ve ever done.  Producing any musical special is always a challenge and such an intricate process, but producing a show while quarantined has been new for all of us. The process has posed so many new questions and challenges, but we rose to the challenge and produced a very important special and to use our platform to help give relief to the communities we serve, is the absolute best reward.

Why is it important for BET to use its platform to help save lives?
BET was founded 40 years ago, to address the lack of representation for us on television.  As important as it was then it is still important today, we have to be champions for the underrepresented communities we serve on and off the screen. This is our superpower.

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