Kids Talk About Their ‘First White President’ in BET News Spots

New PSAs aim to increase voter turnout

Children under 8, who were born during the Obama administration, are about to experience a landmark moment—the first time they'll see a white person elected president of the United States. To raise awareness of election year issues, BET News launched a video with a roundtable discussion featuring kids talking about the election and what it will be like to have a white president.

"Hearing from kids is always interesting, and any way we can start a conversation around social issues is good," said Nneka Norville, director of CSR at BET.

The video also draws attention to BET's new campaign, "Vote Your Voice," which is aimed at increasing voter turnout among African Americans. While black voter turnout has been on the rise since 1996, only in the last two presidential elections—2008 and 2012—was African-American turnout on par with white turnout, according to BET.

The "Vote Your Voice" PSA shows various influencers from the music, fashion, art and tech worlds staring into the camera in silence with the tagline, "This election, silence is not an option."

"It was a risk to go silent, but we wanted to capture people's attention," Norville said. "We wanted to show that this is what it looks like if you don't vote. You're standing in silence, and it's not OK to be silent. You have to use your voice and vote. Given how noisy and dramatic this election season is, we thought that it would be ironic to go silent."

A second set of ads will feature celebrities talking about issues that are important to them. The #VoteYourVoice section of BET's website includes more videos on election-related news and issues, and people also can register to vote on the website through a partnership with TurboVote. Since launching last week, the campaign has registered 800 voters.

"As a network, we have so much brand equity in the African-American community," Norville said. "We're in over 90 million homes across the country, and people look to us not only to entertain them, but to educate them and inform them. This falls in line with that."