YouTube has announced the creation of the Black Voices Fund. The newly launched $100 million fund will provide resources for African creators in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. It will also assist content creators in the United States and Brazil.
"Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the course of the next three years. Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally," YouTube Managing Director of Emerging Markets Alex Okosi said.
Over the next three years, the company hopes to assist Black creators as they put forth original content while thriving on their platform. This fund comes during a COVID-19 pandemic that has financially slammed many creatives across the globe. Halting concerts, in-person art exhibits, live podcasting and other sources of income, many entrepreneurs in art and entertainment spaces have been left scrambling for money.
"All promotional radio tours have been cancelled for both the songs I have out. TV shows for promotions and further gigs have also been put on hold. It puts a huge weight on you financially because any income that was expected is now cut," South African artist Lucille Slade said.
Moving forward, YouTube hopes their nine-figure commitment will further their movement to highlight Black voices following a summer of racial injustice and police brutality.
"Along with our commitment to amplify marginalized 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 added.
Applications for the program will close on October at 8 p.m. EST.
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