Dark and Lovely®, LG G5® and Coca-Cola® Announced as Official 2016 “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” Sponsors

2016 M.A.D. GIRLS (“Making A Difference”) Celebrants Are Marley Dias,
Maya Penn and Haile Thomas

“BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™” Returns to BET Networks on Tuesday, April 5,
2016 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BET Networks has partnered with Dark and Lovely®, LG G5® and
Coca-Cola® for “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016,
celebrating the accomplishments of Black women who represent
inspirational and positive role models making a difference in the world
of arts, philanthropy and their local communities. “BLACK GIRLS
ROCK!™” 2016
tapes on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the historic New
Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, and will premiere on
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 on BET Networks.

Dark and Lovely®, the brand that is proudly dedicated to the
legacy of serving haircare and styling needs of African-American women,
will be the exclusive beauty product sponsor of the Black Girls Rock
2016 Star Power Award
and the Black Girls Rock 2016 Pre-Reception.
The Star Power Award is given to an outstanding woman dominating
her field. The Walking Dead actress and Eclipsed
playwright Danai Gurira is the 2016 celebrant and will be added
to a list of strong Black women including past recipients, Jada Pinkett
Smith and Kerry Washington.

LG G5® will be the sponsor of the Rock Star Award, which
is presented to women who are trailblazers in the industry and
continuing to change the game. The 2016 celebrant is international
superstar Rihanna and past recipients of this award include
Erykah Badu and Queen Latifah.

Coca-Cola® will be this year’s sponsor of the M.A.D (Making A
Difference) GIRLS
, an honor bestowed upon young girls who strive for
excellence within their communities. Each year, “BLACK
dynamic young women and girls who have been recognized as change agents
due to their resolve to come up with enterprises and ideas that promote
progressive change in their communities.

The 2016 “Making a Difference” a.k.a. “M.A.D. GIRLS,” are Marley Dias,
Maya Penn and Haile Thomas, young women who remind us that
there is not an age requirement for community action and social

2016 M.A.D GIRLS

Marley Dias, 11 – Orange, NJ

Marley Dias is the young image activist behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, an
international movement to collect and donate children’s books that
feature Black girls as the protagonists. She launched the
#1000BlackGirlBooks drive in 2015. With international media attention
the initiative quickly gained the support of seasoned authors Jacqueline
Woodson and Rita Garcia as well as literary partners Barnes & Noble, My
Very Own Library, Scholastic, and Putnam Books. Having collected over
4,000 books to-date, Marley has more than quadrupled the campaign’s
original book-raising goal. In February 2016, Marley donated the
majority of the books raised to Retreat School in her mother’s hometown,
Parish of Saint Mary, Jamaica. In addition to launching this campaign,
Marley is also the co-founder of the BAM Collective. On a humanitarian
mission in December 2015, Marley and the BAM Collective traveled to
Ghana, West Africa as health ambassadors for African Health Now to
provide meals for children at local orphanages. This April she will
travel to Liberia to lay the foundation for an international exchange
program where she will with meet President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in
furthering her efforts to foster international relations among girls of
the African diaspora.

Maya Penn, 16 – Atlanta, GA

Maya Penn wears many hats. She is a 16-year-old animated-filmmaker,
artist, eco-designer, entrepreneur, coder, illustrator, writer, speaker,
Simon & Schuster author, philanthropist, environmental advocate and
girls rights activist! Penn is the founder and CEO of Maya’s Ideas, an
eco-friendly clothing and accessories manufacturer that she started in
2008 when she was just 8 years old. Maya donates 10-20% of the companies
profits to local and global charities, environmental organizations and
other causes that she advocates for. She is also the founder of an NPO,
Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet, where she creates and distributes
eco-friendly sanitary pads for girls in developing countries. A
three-time TED speaker, her ‘talks’ have gone viral worldwide and have
over a million views. She recently partnered with Google’s MADE WITH
CODE project as a tech mentor and is currently traveling the country to
promote her first book, “You Got This.”

Haile Thomas, 15 – Tucson, AZ

Haile Thomas is a youth health advocate, motivational speaker, teen
vegan chef, and founder-executive director of HAPPY Organization, Inc.
Haile’s organization works to engage, educate, and inspire youth and
their families to embrace healthy habits through fun cooking classes,
basic nutrition education, physical activities, and youth-based service
activities. Her experience in the healthy eating movement includes
personally engaging over 5000 kids across the country in schools, summer
camps, special community events, and HAPPY organization’s public
programs and special events. Her tremendous efforts and expertise in the
field has granted her invitations to the White House’s for several
occasions including the State of the Union Address, as a guest of First
Lady Michelle Obama, and the White House Kids’ State Dinner. Studying to
become a certified health coach, Haile is currently the youngest student
at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she is the ambassador chef
for Wholesum Harvest Family Farms, Inc. and she’s a certified healthy
living ambassador with the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension
4H Program. She served a 3-year term on the Clinton Foundations’
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board and she is
currently an intern working with former surgeon general Dr. Richard
Carmona doing public health research. She is also a Health Ambassador
for Hip Hop Public Health, a junior chef advisor for Hyatt Hotels’ For
Kids by Kids Menu, and a contributing magazine writer sharing healthy
recipes and encouraging readers to explore new plant-based foods and
flavors. Haile also hosts the “Plant-Powered Haile” YouTube Channel
featuring her delicious and nutritious healthy recipes!

For updates or more information about “BLACK
visit http://www.BET.com/blackgirlsrock

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple
social media platforms:

• On Twitter by using hashtag: #BlackGirlsRock; follow us @BET and

• On Facebook by liking the fan pages at facebook.com/BET and

• On Instagram @betnetworks and @BLACKGIRLSROCK


Founded by celebrity DJ, model and executive producer, Beverly Bond,
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ is a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the
culture of media images depicting Black women and girls. Since 2006,
BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ has been committed to empowering women through media
and enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity
development programs. For additional information on BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™,
visit http://www.blackgirlsrock.com.


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
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CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to
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and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment
tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings
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Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with
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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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