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All Eight Democratic Presidential Candidates To Participate

HDNet’s Dan Rather to Host Evening
NPR’s Michele Norris and PBS’s Ray Suarez To Moderate Forum

New York, N.Y. – November 28, 2007 – HDNet, the nation’s leading high-definition television network, announced that it will present a live, national broadcast of the sixth Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum. The Forum is the nation’s only presidential forum in which all candidates have the opportunity to answer essential concerns of African Americans and Latinos.

The two hour-long forum will begin at 8:00 pm ET on Saturday, December 1. It will be moderated by Michele Norris, host of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for PBS’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

Panel members will be Dr. Juan Andrade Jr., President of US Hispanic Leadership Institute, Angel F. Gonzalez Irizarry Vice Chair for State of Iowa’s Commission of Latino Affairs, Adrien K. Wing, Professor of Law, University of Iowa and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).

Dr. Chavis’ participation is part of HSAN’s longstanding big picture initiative created in the spring of 2003 called Hip-Hop Team Vote. Hip-Hop Team Vote played a major role leading up to the 2004 presidential election in helping to educate youth of color about the importance of voting and in getting them out to the polls, resulting in over 2 million young people voting for the first time.

“The Brown & Black Presidential Forum represents the important opportunity for the perspectives of African Americans and Latino Americans to be addressed by candidates seeking to be the next president of the United States. Keep in mind, hip-hop is, today, a global cultural phenomenon that was first born amongst blacks and Latinos in the South Bronx, New York forty years ago. Thus, 2008 will be the year that blacks and Latinos will be more involved than ever before in determining the outcome of the presidential election.”

“The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network’s Hip-Hop Team Vote program is a non-partisan vehicle for the civic engagement of young minorities across the country,” declared Valeisha Butterfield, HSAN’s Executive Director. “Hip-Hop Team Vote will do its part to ensure that the issues that directly effect the quality of life of people of color will be addressed in the events leading up to the historical, groundbreaking elections in 2008.”

All eight democratic presidential candidates have confirmed their participation in the Brown & Black forum, which will be presented for the first time in high-definition.

This Forum will be one of the last debates before Iowa voters head to caucus on January 3.

HDNet’s live coverage will begin at 7:30 pm ET (4:30 pm PT) with a preview show hosted by Dan Rather, Global Correspondent for HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports.” Rather will also host a half-hour live post-Forum recap at 10:00 pm ET.

The coverage will also feature Iowa State Representative Wayne Ford and Mary Campos, co-chairs and founders of the Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum.

“HDNet is proud to be the exclusive national broadcast partner for the Iowa Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum,” said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. “At HDNet, we are always looking to break new ground and expand our programming, and we hope that our live coverage of this debate will draw greater attention to important issues of concern to minority group members.”

“As the oldest minority-focused forum for presidential candidates, we are pleased to have this year’s event carried exclusively by HDNet,” said Ford, who is an Iowa State Representative (D-Des Moines) and the founder of Urban Dreams, a non-profit community organization offering programs to inner city residents of Des Moines. “We hope that our efforts, with the support of HDNet, will engage even more minority voters in this presidential election.”

The broadcast will be simulcast on Mediacom’s ‘Connections’ channel in Iowa and surrounding states.

About The Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum

The Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum is an element of Urban Dreams’ non-partisan Project V.O.T.E. (Voting Opportunities Through Education). Urban Dreams is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. It is the nation’s only presidential forum in which all candidates have the opportunity to answer essential concerns of African-Americans and Latinos. The non-partisan event began with U.S. Presidential candidate debates in 1984 and has figured prominently in the Iowa caucuses. It is recognized as the oldest, continuous minority forum for presidential candidates in America and one of the longest-running presidential debates in the nation. For further information, visit

About HDNet

HDNet ( provides viewers with the best in original comedy, drama, news, sports and music programming.

HDNet is your exclusive, high definition home for popular, critically acclaimed original programming, including television’s only HD news feature programs “HDNet World Report”, “Dan Rather Reports” featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather and “NASA on HDNet” (presenting live shuttle launches through 2010). HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, NASCAR Grand National Division, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup re-broadcasts, boxing and Mixed Martial Arts; groundbreaking music programming with the HDNet Concert Series featuring leading artists and bands including U2, Coldplay, Gwen Stefani and more; entertaining and irreverent lifestyle programming including “Deadline!”, “Art Mann Presents”, and “Get Out!” HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to the critically acclaimed and award winning programs such as the Emmy Award winning “Arrested Development”, “The Black Donnellys”, “Blade: The Series”, “Star Trek: Enterprise”, “Smallville”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “Boomtown” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”.

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Only HDNet Movies exclusive “Sneak Previews” bring feature films to viewers before they premiere in theaters! Some of the HDNet Movies “Sneak Previews” have included the Academy Award nominated “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”, Toronto Film Festival nominee “The War Within”, and “Bubble”, the first of six movies by acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh and produced exclusively for HDNet Films “Cashback”, written and produced by Sean Ellis, and, most recently, “Broken English”, from Zoe Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Parker Posey, Drea de Matteo and Griffin Dunne. Upcoming Sneak Previews include the critically acclaimed “Redacted” directed by Brian De Palma, “Quid Pro Quo”, starring Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga, “Hunter”, the story of the life and death of infamous gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson from director Alex Gibney and producer Graydon Carter, and “Flawless”, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore.

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Colette Carey, HDNet
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