Angela Rye to Host BET News Town Hall Addressing Student Debt

Sep 10, 2019
By ViacomCBS Staff




NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TODAY, BET announces it will broadcast a new primetime news special examining student loan debt and its disproportionate impact on African American students. The special is the first nationally-televised hour-long town hall aimed at the hot button student loan crisis. Hosted by political strategist and advocate, Angela Rye, this Town Hall looks to sound the alarm and pose solutions toward affecting change to what has become an American crisis. “YOUNG GIFTED AND BROKE: Our Student Loan Crisis” airs Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on BET.

For all students of color, especially African Americans, obtaining a college education can become financially crippling from high levels of unmanageable student debt. Our experts blame many causes, ranging from expensive for-profit colleges that aggressively market to poor students of color, to a widespread lack of financial literacy among first generation college students. Currently, the total outstanding student debt amount in America exceeds $1.5 trillion, mainly held by students from middle and lower-income households. Without a plan of action, this issue will only get worse for African Americans.

This one-hour Town Hall will feature analysis and commentary from policymakers in the CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS (CBC), experts in the education field and student borrowers impacted by this crisis.


Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chairman, House Education and Labor committee

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), co-sponsor with Sen. Bernie Sanders on a student loan debt cancellation bill currently in Congress

Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), former National Teacher of the Year Award recipient, committee member House Education and Labor

Wayne A. I. Frederick (MD), Howard University President

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post Higher Education Reporter

Michael Arceneaux, Journalist and New York Times Bestselling Author

Tiffany Jones, The Education Trust Director of Higher Education Policy

Jessica Brown, Founder, College - student financial planning website


Jesse Williams, Actor and Activist, spokesman for “Scholly”, an app that helps students find college scholarships

Christopher Gray, founder of “Scholly” scholarship app

John King Jr. CEO, The Education Trust; former Secretary of Education - Obama Administration

Brian Bridges, Author of UNCF Report “Fewer Resources, More Debt”

Loan Debt Burdens Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities”; UNCF Vice-president of research and member engagement

Morehouse Class of 2019 graduates, recipients of the Robert Smith gift to pay for their entire class’s student debt.

For more information on “YOUNG GIFTED AND BROKE” visit Viewers can also join this timely conversation by using the hashtag #YOUNGGIFTEDBROKE

About BET Networks

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:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About Angela Rye

Angela Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation's capital. She is a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst. She has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post, Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process. Rye is a prominent strategist who has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC and TV One. The depth of her dialogue ranges from political campaigns to more complex legislation and administration policies that have long-term implications nationally and internationally. She currently serves on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBCPAC), the Seattle University School of Law Alumni, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, Inclusv, and Wilberforce University. She recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Wiley College. She is a member of The Links, Incorporated, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Washington Government Relations Group. Rye served as the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress. In her role as Executive Director, Rye was tasked with developing the overall legislative and political strategy for the Caucus. Prior to working for the CBC, she served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Rye learned the importance of advocacy through her family’s political and community activism. She is a proud graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law.

Jamie Owens