YouTube has announced that applications for its Black Voices Fund, Class of 2023, are now available. The fund created in 2020 recognizes and quips Black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers with the resources and support to enable them to thrive on YouTube.
Since its inception in 2020, the program has welcomed over 300 grantees from Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States, and includes musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, parents, photographers, gamers, and more.
“The African creator community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these talented creators and artists with additional resources to match their drive. At YouTube, we’ve always tried to facilitate the rise of diverse voices, all inclusive of gender and race. Through the Black Voices Fund, in the past two years we’ve been able to amplify the perspectives and experiences of these diverse creators,” says Solafunmi Sosanya, YouTube Lead for Nigeria.
Creators selected for the program will receive funding that will be invested into the development of their channels. They will also receive dedicated partner support and get the opportunity to participate in bespoke training, workshops and networking programs.
Apart from having committed $100M for the YouTube Black Voices Fund, YouTube has also partnered with community-based groups to build the Future Insiders program, – specifically targeting over 180 at-risk and underprivileged students who are interested in a future in the music and creative professions. Participants in the program take part in quarterly sessions that cover YouTube success, career routes, accessing talent and thought leaders, and well-being.
The 2021 BVF cohort included 133 grantees hailing from the United States, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria-with 26 creators and artists from Africa.
Alumni from the continent include reality star entertainer Lasizwe Dambuza, personal trainer and health and wellness advocate Mitchelle Adagala, musician Sho Madjozi and TV presenter, entrepreneur and actress Tomike Adeoye.
“Africa is overflowing with incredible talent. We are excited to discover the amazing creators the next round of applications will bring with it as we continue to invest in the amplification of Black creators,” concludes Sosanya.