YouTube has recently selected its first class of “Black Voices.” The selection of global innovators to receive the multiyear initiative funding and support from the media giant includes 132 artists and creatives from around the world.
In light of the racial-justice protests that occurred in the United States last summer, YouTube has pledged a $100 million fund specifically dedicated to Black creators. The company looks forward to investing in fresh narratives “that emphasizes the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity, and joy of Black voices.”
The members of the chosen group hail from U.S., U.K., Brazil, Australia, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria, and includes a broad range of artists, as well as activists, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, musicians, teachers, personal trainers, poets, and photographers, all who had previously participated in YouTube Black events.
A global panel of YouTube staffers with relevant experience regarding Black culture and music evaluated their channel’s performance, as well as engagement metrics prior to making their decisions. Through the program, YouTube will offer creators seed money from the $100 million Black Voices Fund. The fund will also be utilized to assist channel development, partner support, workshops and networking programs.
The video platform also plans to start new partnerships with at least 500 creatives and artists by 2023. Mindful of inclusivity and diversity, YouTube hopes the program will help establish long-term collaborations. YouTube’s VP of Content Partnerships, Malik Ducard said, “We wanted to dial up and show our commitment to this community in a new way, and a much bigger way.” He added, “These are meaningful partnerships and investments for these creators. There are no strings attached to funding. The creators can invest in their content and themselves as they see fit. Our hope is these artists will become the biggest and most influential Black voices on our platform.”
We’re proud to introduce the 21 artists joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. Help us celebrate and nurture Black artistry around the world. Subscribe and watch now, & stay tuned for more from these artists → https://t.co/o3pPSYbOCt pic.twitter.com/95Qj97gacs
— YouTube Music (@youtubemusic) January 12, 2021