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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BET & CENTRIC PROGRAMMING FOR MLK MEMORIAL UNVEILING

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BET Networks Celebrates the Unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial with a Special Programming Lineup on BET and CENTRIC on Sunday, August 28
BET News Taps Hill Harper to Host the Untold Story of MLK's Life as a Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK Followed by MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA, an In-Depth Look at Michelle Obama's Historic Dip

Exclusive Video Content and Extended News Coverage on BET.com

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BET Networks honors the legacy of the civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special day of programming on BET and CENTRIC in celebration of the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 28.

"BET Networks is truly honored to be a partner with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation and support such an important moment for our country, and especially for African-Americans," said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks. "We are proud to honor his legacy and dedicate an entire day to this on BET and CENTRIC."

"The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundat
ion is humbled and honored to have the support and commitment of BET Networks to make sure the Memorial and dedication week reflect the dignity and inspiration of Dr. King's legacy," said Harry E. Johnson Sr., President and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
Announced during NABJ Annual Conference in Philadelphia, BET News will premiere two new compelling half-hour specials during BET's MLK lineup: ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK and MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA. ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK is a character driven television news special that traces the lineage of King's role in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. during his time as a young graduate student in divinity school in Boston. It also tells the story of how years later his fraternity brothers beat the odds to help make his National Memorial a reality. Featuring never-before-seen footage and first person accounts of King's life as a 23-year old divinity student in Boston, actor Hill Harper takes viewers through the compelling account of King's iconic rise from a 1952 Alpha pledgee to Nobel Prize-winner and leading civil rights pioneer whose impact is still felt today.

Immediately following is the premiere of MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA at 7:30 p.m.* that captures the First Lady's inspiring international journey to South Africa and Botswana.  Told from the point of view of both the First Lady and the communities she visited in Africa, MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA features exclusive up close and personal footage of Mrs. Obama's historic visit as she spreads a message of unity and hope. Seasoned Nigerian-American journalist and former CNN reporter Lola Ogunnaike serves as narrator and on-air correspondent for MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA.  

In addition to these two original News specials, BET will commemorate the MLK Memorial Day with the following programs beginning at 9:00 a.m.* with LIFT EVERY VOICE; followed by KING miniseries at 9:30 a.m.*; MLK MEMORIAL DEDICATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA at 12:00 p.m.* (Live and Commercial-free); KING miniseries (continued) at 1:00 p.m.*; ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK at 7:00 p.m.* (encore at 11:30 p.m.*);  MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA at 7:30 p.m.* (encore at 11:30 p.m.*); and, a brand new episode of SUNDAY BEST at 8:00 p.m.* (encore at 9:00 p.m.*). The Network will also air six "MLK Moments" interstitials featuring personal testimonials on the MLK Memorial from the cast of BET's REED BETWEEN THE LINES, Tracee Ellis Ross, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Anna Maria Horsford and Melissa De Sousa, as well as fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger and BET Networks CEO Debra Lee.
CENTRIC will also dedicate its lineup in celebration of the MLK Memorial Day with the following programs beginning at 9:00 a.m.* with OBAMA IN GHANA: THE UNTOLD STORY (encore at 1:00 p.m.*); followed by THE ROSA PARKS STORY at 10:00 a.m.*; MLK MEMORIAL DEDICATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA at 12:00 p.m.* (Live and Commercial-free); GREAT DEBATERS (movie) at 2:00 p.m.*; BOYCOTT (movie) at 4:30 p.m.*; KING miniseries at 7:00 p.m.*; ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK at 1:00 a.m.*; and, MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA at 1:30 a.m.*

ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK is produced by Rainforest Films exclusively for BET Networks. Hill Harper and Dianne Ashford serve as producers for this special with director Rob Hardy and Will Packer as executive producers.

MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA is produced by the Public Affairs Media Group. James Blue serves as executive producer.
Log on to BET.com/News for exclusive video content, up-to-date coverage and compelling specials. With frequent updates on a wide array of topics including politics, finance, entertainment and more -- BET.com/News is your destination for the latest in and around the country.
*All times are ET/PT.
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SHIRLEY MURDOCK TO SING AT MLK MEMORIAL EVENTS

Legendary Soul Singer To Perform “Dream” At Pre-Dedication Musical Tribute On The Mall And At Post-Dedication “Lift Every Voice Gospel Extravaganza”

On Sunday, August 28th – 48 years after he gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech before 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a national monument will be dedicated to fallen civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Thousands are pouring into Washington, D.C. for a week of events leading up to the unveiling ceremony where President Obama will speak Sunday morning. Legendary soul singer, Shirley Murdock (best known for her 1986 gold-selling classic, “As We Lay”), is coming to the nation’s capitol to sing her new radio hit “Dream” (from her forthcoming CD “Live: The Journey”) at two official Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication events.

The powerhouse vocalist will be backed by The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication Choir at the Pre-Dedication Concert Ceremony (also featuring Patti LaBelle, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jennifer Holliday, Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary) taking place 9-11 a.m. EST on the National Mall. Later that day, Murdock will be backed by the “Sing For A King” Community Choir as she performs “Dream” at the Lift Every Voice Gospel Extravaganza taking place 4-6 p.m. EST at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. That event features The Sounds of Blackness, Bryan Wilson, Earnest Pugh and the Duke Ellington High School of the Arts Students and Orchestra. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication Choir was birthed through a partnership of Desho Productions and NEWorks Productions. Music Director, Rev. Nolan Williams Jr., assembled a multi-generational, multi-racial group of vocalists that will sing Williams’ composition “I Am The Dream” during the pre-service and “We Shall Overcome” at the unveiling program where President Obama will speak.

Coming to Washington to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy is important to Murdock who vividly recalls the day he was assassinated. “I was almost 11 yrs old,” she recalls. “I remember all the adults being absolutely grief stricken, as if a family member had died.  There was a lot of hurt, disbelief and anger after Dr. King died. My Mother was a praying woman, so as she placed her worries into God’s hands, I drew my peace from her peace. I heard him being referred to, as the `Moses’ of our time.  Like Moses, he didn’t make it to the promised land, but he let us know he’d been to the mountaintop and that his eyes had seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Murdock and her husband, Dale DeGroat, wrote her new radio hit “Dream” (#33 on BDS) with celebrated evangelist, Bishop T.D. Jakes. “My song is a reminder that God is the giver and the fulfiller of all the dreams He places in our hearts,” she says. “The dream is a glimpse of our future selves being more and doing more. It’s us at our BEST…fulfilling our PURPOSE…to loving one another, serving one another…celebrating and embracing our diversity and uniqueness.”
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AS HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES, FEMA URGES EAST COAST RESIDENTS TO BE PREPARED

Residents Should Follow the Instructions of Local Officials and Visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov to Prepare for Hurricanes and Severe Weather

WASHINGTON - As Hurricane Irene moves toward the East Coast of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging all residents in East Coast states to take steps now to prepare their families and businesses for hurricanes and severe weather.  Visit www.Ready.gov or www.Listo.gov for helpful tips on preparing for hurricanes, flash flooding and other disasters.




"FEMA, along with the entire federal family, continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irene," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  "We remain in close contact and coordination with all of our state and territorial partners in the Caribbean and along the East Coast that have already or could possibly experience impacts from this storm.  Hurricane Irene's future path is still uncertain, and I encourage everyone to visit Ready.gov and take steps now to keep their family safe and secure.  The most important thing for people to do right now is to listen to and follow the instructions of their local officials.  If you are told to evacuate, evacuate."

FEMA continues its support response efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and on August 22, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, making federal funding available to supplement commonwealth and local response efforts in the area.  In Puerto Rico, federal personnel are joining commonwealth and local officials today to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments, as weather permits. These damage assessments are the first step in helping a governor determine whether the scope of the damages are beyond what the commonwealth is capable of handling, and if additional federal assistance is needed. 

 
Additionally, this past weekend, FEMA proactively deployed regional Incident Management Assistance Teams to the Caribbean to coordinate with territory and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting potential disaster response and recovery.  While Hurricane Irene moves away from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA encourages those in the area to continue to monitor weather conditions and listen to the direction of commonwealth and territorial officials. 

As Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast, FEMA, through its regional offices in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, continues to monitor the storm closely and is in close contact with their respective state emergency management agencies. 

In advance preparation for the storm, FEMA has deployed National Incident Management Assistance Teams to staging areas in Georgia and Virginia, in anticipation of further deployment to potential impact areas along the east coast of the U.S.  Additionally, at all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories.  In Atlanta, for instance, FEMA has more than two million liters of water, more than 1.3 million meals, and more than 16,000 cots and 56,000 blankets.  These resources may be moved to Incident Support Bases, which are distribution centers located closer to the impacted areas, as needed and requested by state partners.

These commodities are meant to supplement state resources if needed, but it's critical that individuals and families that are able build their own emergency supply kits, so that in the event of a disaster, state and local resources can be focused on our most vulnerable citizens.
FEMA is coordinating across the federal government to ensure territorial and state officials have the support they need as they respond to or prepare for Irene. New actions as of today include, but are not limited to:


·         The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started deploying members of the 249th Engineering Battalion (Prime Power) to Puerto Rico to assist with restoring power to the island.
·         The Federal Communications Center (FCC) has deployed two Roll Call Spectrum Scanning teams to the FEMA regional offices in Atlanta and Boston.  These teams conduct post scans after landfall to determine which critical communications systems might have been impacted. 
·         Health and Human Services (HHS) is prepared to provide public health and medical support to states along the east coast in response to Hurricane Irene. The HHS is also coordinating with public health and emergency management agencies in U.S. territories and states along the projected hurricane path to make information available on how people can protect their health as they prepare for and respond to hurricanes and other natural disasters.
·         The U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) has activated a Defense Coordinating Officer to the FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center in Atlanta in preparation for support to civil authorities as Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast of the United States. 
·         The Department of Defense has designated Fort Bragg, North C Incident Support Base to support FEMA operations to respond to Hurricane Irene.
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