NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer said today that the division is restoring the Erase The Hate, a campaign she originally launched 20 years ago when she ran USA Network. The initiative, which won an Emmy, was designed to combat hate and discrimination.
It will now air across the entire cable portfolio, she said, and will “bring important stories to life in powerful ways and leverage our networks, relationships and talent to drive real-life impact on a national scale,” she told staffers today. The plan is to roll out a campaign over the next few months ahead of a full launch in 2018.
Here’s her memo:
Hello Team —
I’m writing to share some news about the relaunch of Erase The Hate…an initiative that addresses issues important to so many of us.
But first, a little background.
More than 20 years ago, I was part of the passionate team that launched Erase the Hate, an Emmy-winning pro-social campaign at USA created to combat hate and discrimination in our country. This later evolved into USA’s Characters Unite…with a similar mission and its own rallying cry for inclusion over prejudice. I’ve always been proud of the work we did and the impact these campaigns had. Sadly, this work feels more urgent today than ever. From my point of view, the choice is clear. We can sit back and be part of a hurting America, or we can channel our energy into something positive and do what we can to break the cycle of hate.
So today, we are announcing the return of Erase The Hate…now with the reach and influence of our entire portfolio to amplify its message. We’ll bring important stories to life in powerful ways and leverage our networks, relationships and talent to drive real-life impact on a national scale.
We’ve spent well over a year reinventing Erase The Hate for today’s world, where the epidemic of hate seems to spread at warp speed online and in our communities. The new campaign includes several initiatives with truly meaningful potential. Here are a few highlights:
Erase the Hate Accelerator
Central to our effort will be the Erase The Hate Accelerator. It’s an innovative program that identifies, supports and funds individuals and organizations fighting hate in their communities, and fast-tracks their ideas to help deliver greater impact. We’ll provide grants, coaching and mentorship from leaders in the field, as well as the expertise within our own Cable Entertainment family.
Erase the Hate Discretionary Fund
Rapid response is essential in the fight against hate. This fund will allow us to make smaller grants in real time to people and groups taking immediate on-the-ground action against hate, when and where it happens.
Erase the Hate Advisory Council
We’re assembling an Advisory Council of important voices who are helping to combat hate and prejudice on several critical fronts. They are inspirational leaders, passionate about important causes central to our campaign. Members currently include: Rebecca Cokley (Center for American Progress); Sarah Kate Ellis (GLAAD), Wadi Gaitan (The LIBRE Initiative); Vanita Gupta (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights); Garrett Johnson (Lincoln Network); Alexis McGill Johnson (The Perception Institute); Suhail A. Khan (Institute for Global Engagement and Microsoft Corporation); Maria Teresa Kumar, (Voto Latino); Janice Min (Eldridge Industries), Janet Murguía (UnidosUS), Ana Navarrez (Republican Strategist/Commentator); Brittany Packnett (Teach For America) and Ashley Spillane (Democracy Fund).
National Campaign Across All Networks
On-air and online video series will feature inspirational individuals taking innovative approaches to countering hate, including our own network talent sharing their personal experiences of intolerance and injustice.
We’re also creating opportunities for everyone from Cable Entertainment to get involved if they choose. We’ll be forming the Cable Entertainment Employee Volunteer Corps allowing employees to share their time and professional expertise. Watch for more information on this in the coming weeks.
Today’s announcement is the first salvo for the campaign that will continue to roll out over the next few months, a steady drumbeat leading to the full launch of the initiative after the New Year.
I’ve always believed people aren’t born knowing how to hate…they are taught to hate. And, as storytellers, we also have the power to inform and teach through the stories we create and share. By embracing that power, Erase The Hate can inspire massive action and change to create a more inclusive, hate-free America.
Together we can…Erase The Hate.