Nigerian artists and content creators who are unable to thrive in the areas of their calling due to insufficient funding can now heave a sigh of relief. This is due to online video-sharing platform, YouTube's recent announcement that they can now apply for grants from it’s $100m Black Voices Fund.
Black Voices Fund is YouTube’s platform that helps to amplify fresh narratives and content that emphasises the intellectual power, passion and joy of a community. YouTube said the global $100m fund will, over the next three years, offer support to Black artists and creators so that they can thrive on YouTube.
Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Alex Okosi, said the Black Voices Fund was created 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.”
According to the platform, the $100m fund was first announced in June. It has since been officially named the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Okosi said this year, the fund will be focusing its efforts on creators within the US, Brazil and Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. He said: “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 #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is part of the work currently underway to ensure that YouTube is a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected. Okosi adds: “Along with our commitment to amplifying 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.”
YouTube 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 this mission. Its new efforts include ramping up enforcement and terminating more accounts that repeatedly post hateful comments. It is also in the process of rolling out product changes to make creator moderation tools more streamlined.