YouTube today announced that content creators and artists can apply for grants from its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. The global $100 million Fund was launched in June 2020 with a view to centre and amplify Black voices and perspectives on YouTube. The application window is open from 7 October 2020 and will close on 22 October 2020 at 3 am. Interested artists and creators can apply for funding here.
“The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will invest with an intention to educate audiences about racial justice and present narratives that emphasise the intellectual power, authenticity and dignity of Black voices,” says Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA. “Promoting the diversity of creators and artists is crucial to making sure that YouTube is inclusive and equitable”
The Fund is part of the work currently underway to ensure that YouTube is a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected. “We believe when we centre Black and other diverse voices, we reflect the power of our global community” adds Okosi. “Along with the commitment to amplify marginalised voices on the content side, YouTube is also investing in product and policy changes that will advance YouTube’s mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world.
This year, the Fund will focus its efforts on creators within Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, US and Brazil. YouTube’s goal is to expand funding to more countries over the next three years and provide educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally.
Other efforts by YouTube to protect diverse communities include the development of more stringent policies and product features. As a result, YouTube brought down over 100,000 videos and 100 million comments for hate and harassment earlier in the year. YouTube believes that it is only by taking a stand against those who would try to bully, harass, silence and intimidate others that it truly moves closer to achieving its mission – giving everyone a voice.