Inside This Issue:
USA Network’s second annual Characters Unite Month will run throughout February to build on its ongoing public service commitment to combat prejudice and discrimination. Throughout the month, USA is premiering programming and PSAs, unveiling new digital content and expanding its community outreach efforts to inspire more Americans to come together to promote greater tolerance, respect and acceptance.
A key part of the Characters Unite Month is the launch of the “I Won’t Stand For…” campaign that features PSAs sending a message that people from all walks of life will no longer stand idly by in the face of prejudice and discrimination. The campaign extends online at charactersunite.com with dozens of short films revealing the PSA participants' very personal experiences of dealing with prejudice and bigotry. USA will encourage viewers to share their own stories of what they won't stand for and why via Characters Unite digital platforms. USA created special activations in New York City (Feb. 8 and 9) and Washington (Feb. 28) where people can come to create their own custom "I Won't Stand For..." t-shirts and share photos and video to engage their friends and family in the movement. Other programming elements included the NFL Characters Unite documentary and Characters Unite storylines in USA programs White Collar and Royal Pains.
In partnership with the renowned nonprofit The Moth, USA brought the Characters Unite national storytelling tour A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power to Los Angeles in mid-February to use the power of storytelling to bring diverse people together, foster greater understanding and encourage respect. The tour included a mainstage showcase hosted by Nathan Lane and featuring five storytellers, including Academy-Award nominee Octavia Spencer and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, each sharing a true story of overcoming discrimination and how it impacted their identity and outlook. The event also included a special performance by Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend. In addition, ten students at Jefferson High School in East Los Angeles participated in after-school workshops led by The Moth and shared their own stories of facing bullying, hate or discrimination at an all-school assembly on February 17.
USA also is partnering with cable companies to launch the Characters Unite Awards to honor extraordinary individuals who have made significant efforts to champion civil and human rights in their communities. An on-air spot featuring Common Law’s Michael Ealy calling for nominations is running on USA and its participating affiliates throughout the entry period (February 1 – March 15). Winners will be featured on-air and online and each will receive $5000 to support his project or related nonprofit organization. The winning individuals will be honored this spring at local market ceremonies.
First Lady Michelle Obama presented an award to Maya Angelou and encouraged everyone to help others achieve greatness during the fifth annual BET Honors awards program that premiered on February 13 during Black History Month. BET Honors celebrates the outstanding achievements of extraordinary legends in music, literature, entertainment, media, service and education.
The BET Honors 2012 saluted renowned poet/author Maya Angelour for her literary arts, Stevie Wonder in musical arts, Mariah Carey as an entertainer, filmmaker Spike Lee for his achievements in media, the Tuskegee Airmen for their service, and coach and mentor Beverly Kearney in education. The program was hosted by Garbrielle Union and featured performances by Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Cicely Tyson, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Rowland and Robin Thicke as well as appearances by Obama, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Willow Smith, Jill Scott and John Singleton.
Proceeds from this year’s BET Honors private ticket sales will be given to Metro TeenAIDS. This community health organization is a longtime partner of BET and is dedicated to supporting young people in the fight against HIV/AIDs, through education, support and advocacy. The BET Honors show was taped at the historic Warner Theatre on January 14 in Washington, DC.
Are you interested in connecting with fellow cable communicators? ACC needs volunteers for our FORUM 2012 and 2012 Beacon Award Committees. Get involved and help mold ACC programs to meet the needs of cable communicators.
FORUM Committee Members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2012 to the industry. Beacon Award volunteers manage the complete entry process from promotion to judging to the Beacon Awards Gala. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact ACC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (FORUM), email@example.com (Beacon), or calling 800-210-3396.
Comcast has partnered with UnitedHealth Group to conduct Project Not Me, a research study for adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The study was designed to determine if watching a television series along with weekly weigh-ins and tracking tools can help people achieve a healthier weight and reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
As part of the study, Comcast will invite digital cable customers at risk of developing diabetes in the Philadelphia and Knoxville, Tenn, areas to participate in the free, yearlong study at www.projectnotmedp.com. Each of the 320 chosen participants of the study will be required to watch 16 television episodes through Comcast On Demand. Each Project Not Me episode will feature a health and wellness facilitator leading a class of real students who are working to reach a healthier weight and will spotlight educational, behavioral, and problem-solving strategies to encourage healthy behaviors. While anyone in the Philadelphia or Knoxville areas with Comcast on Demand may watch the programs, the 320 study participants will also receive an electronic scale, tracking tools to monitor progress and tips for staying healthy after the episodes ends. They’ll also receive weekly calls to check on their progress, offer opportunities to give feedback and hear previews of what to expect in the next episode. Comcast is promoting the program via public service announcements with Mark Feuerstein, who plays Dr. Hank Lawson on USA Network’s show Royal Pains.
If the pilot study is able to help pre-diabetics lose weight and reduce their risk of developing the disease, the video on demand project might expand to other markets and create new business opportunities in health-care education for Comcast. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime, but with just a 5-7% weight loss, a person can lower his chances of getting diabetes.
For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a 2012 corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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