BET Networks and ICON MANN™ Create Partnership in Celebration of Black History Month

ICON MANN creates “28 Men of Change” ™ Initiative Showcasing Unique Contributions of Contemporary Trailblazers on BET, Centric and Throughout Black History Month

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20, 2014 — BET Networks and ICON MANN today announced a partnership to celebrate the positive impact that Black men are making domestically and across the globe with the launch of ICON MANN “28 Men of Change.”  This special Black History Month initiative will share the journeys of 28 contemporary trailblazers whose formula for success includes empowering others, and who credit their personal and professional advancement to their continued investment in philanthropy.

Each day, beginning February 1, 2014, BET Networks will feature the personal story of one of the “28 Men of Change”  with 2:00 minute vignettes on BET and Centric. will offer viewers original videos, photographs and editorial features on these inspirational figures, providing a personal and in-depth interview detailing how they have combined their passion with their purpose.

The diverse list of celebrants recognizes men from multiple countries and a wide array of industries spanning entertainment, business, art, law, finance, medicine, science, politics, education and professional sports. Each individual selected continues to inspire many different generations with his vision, ability, commitment and success in creating positive changes throughout the world.

The group of honorees selected for the inaugural ICON MANN™”28 Men of Change”  include (in alphabetical order):

1.    Lonnie Bunch III , Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

2.    Nick Cannon , TV Host, Writer, Director, Executive Producer and Philanthropist

3.    Lee Daniels , Film Producer and Oscar-Nominated Director

4.    Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean, Grammy Award-Winning Record Producer, Composer and Philanthropist

5.    Dr. Courtney Hollowell, Cook County Hospital Chairman of the Division of Urology

6.    Nyjah Huston , Professional Street Skateboarder

7.    Charles Jenkins , Pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

8.    Ron Kirk , Sr. Council of Gibson Dunn and Former U.S. Trade Representative

9.    Edward Lewis , Co-founder of Essence Magazine and Latina Magazine

10. Ndaba Mandela, Chairman, Africa Rising Foundation

11. Leland Melvin , NASA Astronaut

12. Dr. Steve Perry , Founder and Principal, Capital Preparatory Magnet School

13. Nile Rodgers, Musician, Producer, Composer and Philanthropist

14. Dr. Robert Ross , President and CEO, The California Endowment

15. Marcus Samuelsson , Chef and UNICEF Ambassador

16. Gary Simmons , Artist

17. Forest Whitaker , Actor, Producer and Director

The remaining honorees will be revealed each day during the month of February 2014.

Founding Partner of ICON MANN Tamara N. Houston comments, “There is so much wealth and inspiration within our Black Diaspora, of good men, great men being leaders within the community, the home, across the nation and around the globe. It is time we start to shine the spotlight on them and focus on what is possible. We are thrilled beyond measure with the support that Louis Carr and the entire BET family have provided ICON MANN .”

The official sponsor of ICON MANN “28 Men of Change”  on BET Networks is Lexus.


ICON MANN Black Men In Entertainment and Multimedia (IMBMIE), champions the accomplishments and positive dialog surrounding Black men. Being the best at what you do places you on the list. How you consistently pay-it-forward puts you in the room. Our signature annual tent pole events are the POWER 50 event, the Academy Awards (Oscar) celebratory dinner and the Summer and Winter Conversations. ICON MANN’s corporate pledge is to be of support to black male youths in the foster care system ages 13-18 years old, seeking educational advancement.

About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), 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:, 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.


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About Kerline K. Jules (686 Articles)
A native of Miami, Florida, Kerline Jules is one of South Florida’s leading young professionals and community leaders invested in public service and passionate about elevating the message of social and economic empowerment. Kerline believes a legacy of good intentions is no legacy at all; her very focus is on making sure that her life’s work makes an impact.

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