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5/20/2005

 
BET, Cox Communications of New Orleans and Hot 104.5 FM Bring Award-Winning Rap-It-Up Campaign to New Orleans on May 29

KNOU Rap-It-Up Block Party Features Free Concert and On-site HIV Testing

WASHINGTON, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- BET's Rap-It-Up brings its award- winning national HIV/AIDS public awareness initiative to New Orleans to sponsor the Annual KNOU Block Party on Sunday, May 29 from 2 - 7 p.m. CT at Marconi Meadows City Park. Partnering with Rap-It-Up for the community effort will be KNOU-FM, Cox Communications, MTV/BET Networks, and the New Orleans AIDS Task Force.

The KNOU Block Party is free to the public and will provide numerous activities for event attendees, including a concert, community vendors, premium giveaways and free HIV testing. The New Orleans AIDS Task Force will coordinate with the Orleans Community Planning Group to administer on-site counseling and HIV testing. Mad Linx, host of BET's RAP CITY, will host the block party featuring performances from some of today's hottest hip hop and R&B artists. Among those scheduled to perform are Trillville, Paul Wall, Do or Die, Gucci Mane, Choppa, Nappy Headz, Dizzy, 10th Ward Buck, Faster Boyz and many more. BET's Mad Linx and event partners will also be on hand to mingle attendees.

Today's disturbing statistics have shown that African Americans account for the most AIDS diagnoses, people estimated to be living with AIDS, and HIV- related deaths than any other racial group. Although African-American teens make up only 15% of U.S. teens, they account for 65% of newly-reported AIDS cases. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, African Americans in the state of Louisiana accounted for 69% of the state's newly-reported AIDS cases in 2003.

"These devastating statistics reflect the urgent need to educate communities that HIV is 100% preventable," said Vikki Johnson, BET's Manager of Public Affairs. "Through Rap-It-Up's grassroots efforts, BET is able to work directly with at risk communities to provide the information and resources necessary to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, and to help young adults change their sexual behavior in order to curb this deadly trend."

Since its launch in 1997, BET's Rap-It-Up Campaign has tested over 5,800 people nationwide for HIV infection; managed over 988,000 calls to the Rap-It- Up toll-free hotline; hosted community teen forums for over 8,600 youth; and reached millions of viewers via HIV-related programming on the BET Network, including award-winning news specials, documentaries and public service announcements.

"Recognizing the startling HIV/AIDS statistics in our local community, we knew that getting involved in this event could help make a difference," said Cox Communications' Steve Sawyer. "The Rap-It-Up Campaign has made a tremendous impact nationwide, and we are proud to be the local company who helped bring it to the New Orleans community." The BET cable network airs on Cox Communications' channel 22, as part of the local cable provider's overall line-up.

Media Opportunities: Coverage of Concert and Block Party Activities;
Interview & Photo Opportunities with BET Talent,
Concert Performers, BET Rap-It-Up Representatives,
KNOU Radio Personalities, and Event Partners.

ABOUT RAP-IT-UP


Since 1997, the Kaiser Family Foundation and BET: Black Entertainment Television have partnered on an extensive public education campaign to inform young people about sexual health issues, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). The partnership includes special programming, public service advertisements (PSAs), online content on bet.com, and a free resource and referral service. In 2000, the campaign launched a grassroots initiative to complement the on-air and online components of Rap- It-Up. Program elements include teen forums, mobile HIV testing events, and a middle and high school curriculum on HIV/AIDS. The campaign was nominated for an Emmy for Best National Public Service Announcement in 2002 and 2001, and has received numerous other awards, including the 2002 Cable Positive POP Award for Outstanding Newsmagazine Series, the 2002 CTPAA Joel Berger Award, the 2002 NAACP Image Award, the 2002 Academy of Television Arts & Science TV Cares "Ribbon of Hope" Award, and the 2002 NBACA Community Service Award.

ABOUT BET

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks - BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.

About Cox Communications (http://www.cox.com/)

Cox Communications Inc., a Fortune 500 company, is a multi-service broadband communications company with approximately 6.7 million total customers, including approximately 6.3 million basic cable subscribers. The nation's third-largest cable television provider, Cox offers analog cable television under the Cox Cable brand as well as digital video service under the Cox Digital Cable brand, featuring advanced services including digital video recording, high-definition television and video-on-demand. Cox provides an array of other communications services including local and long-distance telephone under the Cox Digital Telephone brand, high-speed Internet service under the Cox High Speed Internet brand, and home networking. Commercial voice and data services are offered via Cox Business Services. Local cable advertising, promotional opportunities and production services are sold under the Cox Media brand. Cox is an investor in programming services including Discovery Communications Inc. Cox Communications is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc.

About Hot 104.5, KNOU FM

Hot 104.5, KNOU FM, is owned and operated by On Top Communications LLC. On Top is headquartered in Lanham, Maryland and owns and operate radio stations in four markets. On Top Communications is a minority owned and operated company dedicated to serving the African-American communities in each of its markets.

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

CONTACT: Lyntina Townsend of BET, +1-202-608-2745,
lyntina.townsend@bet.net; or Kara Kortman, +1-504-949-3999,
kkortman@deveney.com, for Cox Communications

Web site: http://www.bet.com/
http://www.cox.com/




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