AFRICA – American online video-sharing platform, YouTube has launched a new global US$100 million fund to offer support to Black artists in terms of grants so that they could grow and thrive on YouTube.

Preparations for implementation of the Fund that was unveiled in June this year is now complete and YouTube is now accepting application for grants from interested artists and creators.

Prospective applicants have until October 22 to submit their application to YouTube for them to benefit from the grants.

Commenting in the development, Managing Director for Emerging Markets at YouTube Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alex Okosi said that the fund would be focusing its efforts on creators within the United States, Brazil and Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“The fund would 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.”

Alex Okosi – Managing Director, Emerging Markets at YouTube EMEA

The Black Voices Fund is part of the work currently underway to ensure that the popular video sharing platform with more than 2 billion users 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,” Okosi said.

Okosi further revealed that along with 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.

Okosi revealed that the Google owned media platform has goal of expanding the funding to more countries over the course of the next three years.

Additionally, Okosi said that the platform hoped to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally.

Apart from the grant, YouTube has also initiated a number of initiatives to ensure that the platform is safe for users from all diverse backgrounds.

Earlier this year, YouTube developed more stringent policies and product features that resulted in the bringing down of over 100,000 videos and a further 100 million comments that were believed to promoted hate and harassment.

YouTube says that it 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.

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