This Fall, Characters Unite College Tour Will Stop at Seven Campuses Around the Country with Special Activation to Engage Students to Stop Problems of Discrimination and Dating Abuse

College or University with the Most Entries Ensured a Stop on the Tour and a Visit From a Star of One of USA Network’s Hit Series

NEW YORK, NY – September 17, 2014 – Verizon and USA Network are teaming for the Characters Unite College Tour to encourage students to use technology and their voices to help solve some of the country’s biggest social issues, such as stopping hate and discrimination and preventing dating abuse. USA and Verizon today launched a national contest – the “Characters Unite College Tour Competition” – for colleges and universities to win the opportunity to become one of the seven campuses visited on the tour this fall.

From September 3 through September 26, all college and university students can enter the competition at Once students have entered the contest, they can encourage their friends to enter by promoting the tour on Facebook and Twitter. For every friend they get to enter, their school receives a bonus referral vote. The school with the highest number of entries will be guaranteed a stop on the fall tour and get a very special guest – one of the stars from a USA Network hit series.

“Verizon’s culture of diversity and inclusion is the core of who we are as a company and allows our employees to unleash their full talent and potential,” said Michelle Watts, director of workforce performance, at Verizon. “We’re proud to join the Characters Unite College Tour to help engage the brightest minds of tomorrow in creating a more open and respectful society, and make a positive difference in the world.”

“The Characters Unite College Tour and Competition represents our continued effort to inspire students to speak out against hate, abuse and discrimination,” said Toby Graff, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, USA Network. “We are proud to partner with Verizon and their HopeLine campaign to encourage today’s students, our future leaders, to become champions of change at their schools and in their communities.”

At each stop of the Characters Unite College Tour, students will be invited to create a free “I Won’t Stand For…” t-shirt, personalizing it by stamping a word to fill in the blank, such as bullying, dating abuse, racism, religious intolerance, sexism, homophobia, ableism and more. In addition, they can take a photo to be a part of the Characters Unite online gallery and immediately share the image with their friends and family via social media, joining millions of people – including top musicians, movie and television stars, athletes and political leaders – in the Characters Unite campaign to combat all forms of violence and discrimination.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn more about loveisrespect, a program dedicated to empowering youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships. Students will also be able to join Verizon in speaking out against dating violence through the company’s HopeLine program. The activation will include HopeLine Collection bins where guests can donate no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories in any condition, from any service provider. Donated phones are recycled or refurbished and turned into support in the form of cash grants for local and national domestic violence prevention organizations across the country. Through HopeLine, Verizon also provides wireless phones to local domestic violence prevention organizations across the country for use by their clients. In addition, students will be invited to share messages of hope to domestic violence survivors through HopeLine’s Because Voices Have Power initiative.

To enter the contest, view the rules and regulations and learn more about the Characters Unite College Tour Competition, please visit To learn more about HopeLine from Verizon, visit or

About Characters Unite
Characters Unite, USA Network’s award-winning public service program, was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network’s iconic “Characters Welcome” brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat prejudice and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance — on-air, online, and in communities across the country.

About USA Network
The #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented seven straight years, USA Network is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals, spectacular live television and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at Characters Welcome.


USA Contact:
Melissa Cusack | 212.664.8993 |

Verizon Contact:
Ray McConville | 908.559.3504 |
Cameka Crawford | 908.559.3497 |