About The BET Foundation

Published July 30, 2008

Our Strategic Focus

Mission:

To promote healthy lifestyles among African Americans through education and by raising public awareness within the community on health-related problems and social issues deemed important and unique to African Americans.

Overview:

Optimal health of citizens is the foundation of a flourishing society. Therefore, promoting healthy living and addressing illness and mortality among community members are central to societal success. While the life expectancy and overall health of Americans has improved in recent years, the burden of illness and death in African American communities remains disproportionately high.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overweight and obesity are higher among racial and ethnic minority populations and contribute to the myriad health challenges faced by these community members.1  Among minority groups, African American women have the highest prevalence of overweight (78 percent) and obesity (51 percent).2  These women are disproportionately affected by some of the most devastating health problems including heart disease, depression, hypertension, and various cancers.  Obesity-related health conditions place a significant burden on the individual, the family, the community and society at large.

In 2003, The BET Foundation was created to address these critical concerns and alleviate these burdens in African American communities across the nation. The Foundation will accomplish this by raising public awareness of the myriad health-related challenges within the African American community and by promoting healthy lifestyles. Addressing the needs of African American women and girls is essential to overall community health and well-being and is therefore a primary focus of the Foundation in its efforts to address obesity within the community.

Black Entertainment Television has a 25-year history of tailoring television programming and events to socially responsible African American audiences and African American women and girls in particular. These community members depend on BET not only to bring them excellence in television programming and events, but also to lead as a corporate citizen in providing them with essential information and resources to address the social concerns and health needs of community members. The BET Foundation was created to marshal resources, improve strategies and, illuminate and rigorously address these primary concerns.

With obesity and related health concerns as its primary focus, the foundation takes a pioneering first step in addressing one of the leading behavioral health concerns among African American women and families. Through tailored initiatives and targeted campaigns, the BET Foundation aims to insure that African Americans live longer healthier lives by arming community members with the knowledge and tools necessary to begin Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) for life.

Our Current Initiatives:

Campaign is a comprehensive, multi-tiered public education campaign sponsored by The BET Foundation and General Mills, Inc.  The campaign is designed to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles among African American women and other community members.
Components of the Campaign include:
* Public Service Announcements
* Televised Vignettes
* Seminars & Public Forums
* Brochures on Healthy Lifestyles and Eating
* Toll-free hotline
* Dedicated Webpage thru BET.com
* Nationwide Fitness Challenge Contest

For more information on A Healthy BET visit our website at: www.BET.com/ahealthybet
An initiative of the BET Foundation with support from the General Mills Foundation.

For more information about The BET Foundation contact:

Program Coordinator
The BET Foundation
1235 W Street, NE
Washington, DC 20018

Phone: (202)608-2000
Fax: (202)608-2896

1 US DHHS, September 24, 2002, “Protecting the Health of Minority Communities,” http://www.omhrc.gov/rah/indexnew.htm  Retrieved, February 2004.
2 AOA, February 10, 2004, “Obesity in Minority Populations,”
http://www.obesity.org/subs/fastfacts/Obesity_Minority_Pop.shtml, Retrieved February 2004.

Written by BET-Staff

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