SA artist and creators to benefit from YouTube's R1.6bn ‘Black Voices Fund’

12 October 2020 - 06:45
YouTube's Black Voices Fund will offer support to black artists and creators so they can thrive on the platform and make sure 'YouTube is inclusive and equitable'.
YouTube's Black Voices Fund will offer support to black artists and creators so they can thrive on the platform and make sure 'YouTube is inclusive and equitable'.
Image: gilc / 123rf.com

Popular video-sharing platform YouTube has made its Black Voices Fund available for black South African artists and creatives, encouraging them to apply.

YouTube announced that over the next three years, the global $100m (R1.6bn) fund will offer support to black artists and creators so they can thrive on the platform and make sure "YouTube is inclusive and equitable".

Head of emerging markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alex Okosi, said the fund aimed to “present fresh narratives that emphasise the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of black voices, and to educate audiences about racial justice”.

Okosi said the fund will focus its efforts on creators within the US, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria and SA.

“Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the next three years,” he said.

“Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops and community events to black creators and artists globally.”

Okosi said the fund is part of the work being done to ensure 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,” said Okosi.  

He said YouTube believes it is only by taking a stand against those who would try to bully, harass, silence and intimidate others that it moves closer to achieving this mission.

Okosi said the platform's efforts included ramping up enforcement and terminating more accounts that repeatedly post hateful comments.

He said YouTube was also rolling out product changes to make creator moderation tools more streamlined.

Artists and creators who are interested can apply for funding here.

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