YouTube today announced that artists and creators from South Africa can apply for grants from its Black Voices Fund. Over the next three years, the global US$100m fund will support black artists and creators so that they can thrive on YouTube.
Interested artists and creators can apply for funding here.
According to Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, The Black Voices Fund will invest with the intention to “present fresh narratives that emphasise the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice”.
The $100m fund was first announced in June and has since been officially named the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
This year, the fund will be focusing its efforts on creators within the US, Brazil and Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. “Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the course of the next three years,” says Okosi. “Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally.”
The #YouTubeBlack Voices 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.
“Along with our commitment to amplify marginalised voices on the content side, we are also investing in product and policy changes that will continue to advance YouTube’s mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world,” Okosi adds.
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 this mission. The platform’s new efforts include ramping up enforcement and terminating more accounts that repeatedly post hateful comments. It is also in the process of rolling out product changes to make creator moderation tools more streamlined.