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BET’s COVID Relief Fund Raises Over $16M To Support African-American Communities Impacted By Coronavirus

Recognizing the YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ (YWCA GLA) efforts in combating the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the organization’s impact on the city’s African American community during these times, the 126-year-old nonprofit became one of the beneficiaries of BET’s “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” special.  Co- hosted by Anthony Anderson, Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall, and featuring appearances by artists such as Alicia Keys and Whoopi Goldberg, the event answered the call to entertain and inspire the Black community, which has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

With the help of several foundations, corporations, and support from a network of Black business leaders, over $16 million in commitments were made during the April 22, two-hour broadcast allowing over 50 organizations across the nation to provide emergency financial support through partner organizations to those hardest hit by this health and financial crisis. 

BET and the United Way Worldwide joined forces to create a powerful partnership, resulting in the BET Covid-19 Relief Fund. A number of generous grants were received from Blue Meridian Partners, Charles And Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and The Ford Foundation. Corporate donations from top brands included Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Toyota, Salesforce, McDonald’s, BNY Mellon, AmEx, AARP, Pine-Sol®, Morgan Stanley, TJX, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), NBA, RLJ Companies, Popeyes, Chicago Trading Company, and  Advancing Black Pathways.

“The YWCA Greater Los Angeles for over 126 years responds to the Call of Action for the disenfranchised and those individuals in need. We are proud to partner with United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Black Entertainment Network Television ( BET) in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the communities of color that we serve in Los Angeles.  We know that the coronavirus isn’t an equalizer but a magnifier of inequality,” says YWCA GLA CEO Faye Washington.  “As the African American community continues to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the YWCA Greater Los Angeles has responded to this crisis and its disproportionate toll on African American communities, by implementing a Grab-and-Go Food Distribution Program to ensure that the low-income, vulnerable children, families, and seniors we have always served can continue to meet their everyday needs.” 

The YWCA GLA Grab-and-Go Food Distribution Program, designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, serves primarily Black American communities in South Los Angeles. Hundreds of such households already have close ties to YWCA GLA and have previously relied on daily meal services and other resources at YWCA GLA’s Compton Empowerment Center and Angeles Mesa Empowerment Center (Leimert Park). In alignment with the mandate of L.A. County service providers, YWCA GLA is committed to providing continued support to at-risk, disenfranchised communities throughout this crisis. Along with the meal distribution program, YWCA GLA continues to provide the agency’s key services, including workforce development, sexual assault crisis services, senior engagement, child development, and youth empowerment, utilizing a remote, virtual model. Each of these pillar services will be guided to help mitigate the harmful impacts of the pandemic crisis on at-risk communities.