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YouTube offers SA artists a share of $100 million fund

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Alex Okosi, MD of emerging markets at YouTube EMEA.
Alex Okosi, MD of emerging markets at YouTube EMEA.

YouTube is inviting South African artists and content creators to apply for grants from its Black Voices Fund.

The global $100 million fund, announced globally in June, offers support to black artists and content creators over the next three years, to enable them to promote their work on YouTube.

The initiative is one of several projects introduced by the video-streaming platform to support the global black community, those affected by the impact of COVID-19, and to benefit various charity organisations.

Alex Okosi, MD of emerging markets at YouTube EMEA, says the video-streaming platform’s investment in the Black Voices Fund seeks to present a fresh narrative that emphasises the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of black voices, as well as educate audiences about racial justice.

“The fund will be focusing its efforts on creators within the US, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. 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.”

The #YouTubeBlackVoicesFund is part of the work currently under way to ensure YouTube is also used as a platform where black artists, creators and users can share their personal 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 show them the world,” Okosi adds.

YouTube says its other efforts include ramping up enforcement and terminating more accounts that repeatedly post hateful comments. It is also rolling out product changes to make creator moderation tools more streamlined.

Interested artists and content creators can apply for funding here.

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