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Award-winning Journalist Soledad O’Brien Sits Down with
Vice President Kamala Harris, One-On-One, for an Exclusive Interview
Regarding the Biden/Harris Administration’s National Month of Action,
Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, Police Reform and Voting Rights

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 8, 2021 – BET News presents “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” hosted by Soledad O’Brien – an exclusive half-hour primetime news special filmed at the White House featuring a one-on-one conversation between O’Brien and Vice President Harris. The interview focuses on a range of substantive issues impacting the Black community including vaccine hesitancy and access, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, police reform, and voting rights. “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris” premieres Friday, July 9 at 8/7c on BET
Select quotes from special “State of Our Union: Vice President Kamala Harris”:
The Vice President on vaccine hesitancy: “One in three Black people in America know somebody who has died from this disease. And here’s the other point that I will make, virtually everyone who is in a hospital right now because of COVID-19 is unvaccinated. Virtually everyone who has died from COVID-19 was unvaccinated. So, the thing that I just want to remind folks of is that you have the power. Don’t let anybody take your power from you. You have the power to save your life. You have the power to make a decision about what happens to your body. Don’t let people dupe you into thinking that this thing is not going to help you, it will help you. And it will save your life.” The Vice President on the administration’s plan to fight crime and reform police departments: “We should not be offered and certainly not accept a false choice. Like when we’re talking about gun violence, we need to deal with that. So as an administration, we’re saying for example, the firearms dealers that those who are violating the law, there needs to be a consequence for that. On the issue of policing, we need accountability. And we are, and I was actually one of the original authors of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and I feel very strongly that needs to be passed. There needs to be accountability for police officers who break the rules or break the laws.” The Vice President on the fight over voting rights: “It’s about using the bully pulpit to help people see what’s happening in the midst of all the daily issues that they have. You know, we’re not in an election year. You know, we tend to rally when we know the election is about to happen. But right now, we need to start rallying, because these laws are being passed right now that will make it almost impossible, at least very difficult, for you to vote.”  

“BET continues to lead the charge with content that speaks to the timely and critical issues impacting our community,” said BET President Scott Mills. “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we utilize the power of media to drive important conversations affecting our health and welfare. We look forward to facilitating this dialogue with Vice President Harris and tackling these topics head on to engage and empower our viewers like no other brand can.” Leading up to Friday’s premiere, on BET’s social media platforms, viewers can catch a series of short conversations between members of our community and Biden-Harris administration members, straight talk about the vaccine, misinformation, and real dollars aimed at helping Black families and businesses recover from the pandemic.

Watch the digital dialogue now on at: “As Americans face the triple threat of COVID, economic challenges and political polarization over important issues like police reform and voting rights, this was a critical time to sit down with Vice President Harris and ask hard questions about what government is doing to heal our communities and unite us going forward,” said O’Brien. “I look forward to sharing her insights with the BET audience this Friday.”

Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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