LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Actor-comedian Anthony Anderson, co-star of NBC's Guys With Kids, hosts the 34th annual UNCF An Evening of Stars® Educating our Future Presented by Target. The show premieres nationwide on Saturday, January 26 (check local listings for stations and times) and airs on BET Networks on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. EST. The nationally televised variety show focuses public attention on America's need for more African American college graduates and UNCF's work getting students to and through college.
The show features Grammy-Award winner and founder of the New Look Foundation, Usher Raymond, presenting a four-year college scholarship to Milwaukee, Wisconsin high school senior, Ammon Lyle. Additionally, superstars Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart and Chaka Khan will present scholarships to deserving college and college-bound students.
The national audience will be electrified by performances and appearances by some of the hottest names in entertainment including Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, Tyrese Gibson, Melanie Fiona, Eric Benet, Tracee Ellis Ross, Keenan Ivory Wayans and many more.
"I hope everybody tunes in and donates from the bottom of their hearts and the bottom of their pockets," said Anderson. "Unfortunately, over 60,000 students apply for scholarships and financial aid every year and UNCF is able to award scholarships to just 15,000 who need help going to college. That's why I'm a part of what UNCF is doing and I'm here for the long run."
"UNCF is delighted that stars like Usher, Anthony Anderson, Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Kevin Hart and Chaka Khan have agreed to make our cause their cause," said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., "performing for the UNCF An Evening of Stars national audience and introducing UNCF's "rising stars" -- the high-achieving students who, thanks to UNCF, are getting the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy. The country is facing a crisis in African American education, and UNCF, BET and our galaxy of rising and established stars are determined to do something about it."
"We are very excited to be a part of this inspirational night," says BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee. "Historically black colleges and universities hold a special and important role in the African American community and we are honored to help raise funds and awareness to support the education of the next generation of leading African American professionals."
UNCF, the country's largest and most effective minority education organization, supports the education of more than 60,000 students each year. A recent study by UNCF's Patterson Research Institute showed that UNCF's 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) out-perform many non-HBCUs at enrolling and graduating low-income students. UNCF's largest scholarship program, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, has a 90 percent graduation rate among its 13,000 low-income minority students, a rate significantly higher than the national college graduation rate.
This year's show is made possible by Target, Presenting Sponsor of UNCF An Evening of Stars®; National Sponsor McDonald's, Official and Major Sponsors American Airlines, Wells Fargo, Buick, AT&T, the U.S Army and Anheuser-Busch; Media Partner, Clear Channel, and weekend sponsor Caesars Entertainment.
About UNCF An Evening of Stars®
UNCF An Evening of Stars®, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest-running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 34-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a who's who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars® received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder, its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson and its 2010 tribute to Lionel Richie. Learn more about UNCF An Evening of Stars® at www.UNCF.org.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. UNCF supports education through scholarships and other programs, by supporting its 38 member colleges and universities, and by advocating for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. The UNCF logo features the torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
SOURCE BET Networks