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By Matt Webb Mitovich

 

BET on Tuesday announced a programming series that will address systemic racism, the violence faced by Black people in America and solutions to help move the country forward.

The announced slate — which includes a presidential forum to which President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden have been invited — aims to provide information, insights and strategies that spark meaningful dialogue and help provide solutions to eradicate the racial inequities plaguing our society.

The potential Trump/Biden appearance is scheduled to take place on June 19th, aka Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Per an official release, if they agree to appear, the politicians will be interviewed separately and “will be asked to address a range of critical issues, including the institutional racism that has led to disparities in housing, health, income and the law enforcement and criminal justice systems.” Biden and Trump also will be asked to talk about specific plans to address these issues.

The first in the series of specials airs tonight at 8/7c. Justice Now: A BET News Special will feature host Marc Lamont Hill in discussion with guests that include: George Floyd’s family, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, singer John Legend, Rapper T.I., New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, activist Tamika Mallory and NAACP president Derrick Johnson. The conversation will focus on the killing of George Floyd, who died in May after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and put a knee on Floyd’s neck.

In addition, later this week BET News will hold Justice Now a virtual telecast in which a panel made up of community leaders and activists will share views on “the reforms necessary in America’s political and criminal justice systems and the importance of voting at state and federal levels.”

“We stand in steadfast solidarity with George Floyd’s family, the many victims of racist brutality, and those who are using their voices and platforms to challenge it,” BET president Scott Mills said in a statement. “There are no easy solutions for these systemic issues of racism, injustice and trauma. BET is leveraging every platform and resource at our disposal to support and inform our community and help identify strategies and viable solutions in this time of crisis.”

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