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Arts & Culture

YouTube Announces Class of 2022 Application Date for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund

Black stories and experiences are as diverse and complex as the people. But all too often, the portrayals we see are a portrait of a monolithic group. That’s a problem we wanted to address; we hope to use the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund to promote more authentic and varied perspectives and celebrate Black joy.

When we announced the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund last year, we launched with the intention of investing in work that amplifies the voices, perspectives, and stories of Black people around the world. We wanted to equip Black creators and artists with the resources and support to enable them to thrive on YouTube. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made through our Class of 2021 grant program, YouTube Originals, and more.

This is an image of the #YouTubeBlack Voices initiative

In just seven months, our Class of 2021 creators and artists are increasing their impact and growing their channels because of the hard work they are putting in, the support they have received, and the dynamic communities they are continuing to build. Some of the highlights include:

  • Each of our grantees has been partnered with a dedicated YouTube Strategic Partner manager who is working with them to optimize and grow their channels and we’ve already seen amazing results in channel growth and engagement.
  • More than 132 creators & artist teams across six countries have participated in our inaugural three-week Black Voices Creator Fund Incubator Camps, where guest speakers covered everything from Pre-Production 101, lighting, and digital storytelling to alternative monetization, media coaching and wellbeing. These sessions were led by industry experts including Dyana Williams, Moira Griffin, Alan Soares, Ícaro Silva, Devi Brown, Jamila Jordan Theus, Sarah Janiszewski, Tommy Oliver, Funmilola Adeniyi, Oluwatosin Olaseinde, Jake Wiafe, Jade Raad, Dane Baptiste and Jamal Edwards MBE, among many others.
  • We’ve seen our creators use their grants in a variety of ways. For example:
    • Tassio from Herdeira da Beleza, hired a team and dedicated time to launch a podcast called SentidosDaBeleza (Senses of Beauty), the first podcast in Brazil about makeup for people with visual impairments.
    • Terrell used his grant to upgrade his shooting space and launch a new cooking and comedy show called T and Coco.
    • Tiffany from TiffanyRotheWorkouts purchased all new production equipment and hired an editor. This has helped her upgrade the production value of her weekly live workouts while diversifying her content and monetization strategy.
    • Jabrils has launched his lifelong dream project - he's producing an animated series that is inspired by his Black experience.
    • Winifred from Zeelicious Foods started two new content series, "Dining Etiquette" and "Bachelor Recipes Series" that are resonating well with viewers.
    • The Humble Penny partnered with an editor to uplevel their production and produce a career-planning series called 'How much do they make?’
    • Vanessa Kanbi invested in better production equipment to boost her content value and explore new content collaborations.
  • Artists have used their funding to develop both impactful and creative work that speaks to their personal lives. Yung Baby Tate released the vibrant music video for her self-empowerment anthem, “I Am,” while Brent Faiyaz celebrated the importance of women in his life through the rollout of “Show U Off,”which were both featured on YouTube Music's Released playlist. As part of YouTube Music’s Africa Month celebration, Sho Madjozi, Sauti Sol, and Fireboy DML, hosted exclusive live stream virtual concerts on each of their Official Artist Channels. And Mariah The Scientist performed an exclusive live set for YouTube Music Nights from Center Stage in Atlanta, in support of the National Independent Venu Association (NIVA).
  • We partnered with several artists and organizations (Masego, 2 Chainz, Kitty Cash, The Legacy Series, The MOBO Awards) to develop the #YouTubeBlack Music moments which included content series, live streams, and events. The #YouTubeBlack Music moments are celebrations of Black culture, identity, and experiences from the perspective of artists and thought leaders in Music.
  • To deepen the impact of our work, building on our artist and creator grants, and content investments, our Music team also worked with Project Level, The Gathering Spot and Since the 80s to launch Future Insiders, to date reaching over 180 at-risk and underserved youth aspiring to enter the music and creative industries. We’ll expand globally in 2021.

In addition to supporting our Class of 2021, we are also committed to inspiring transformational conversations on racial justice and portraying diverse Black experiences through YouTube Originals projects, including episodes of “Glad You Asked,” a third installment of “Bear Witness, Take Action,” the upcoming new series “The Outsiders” and “Onyx Family Dinner,” as well as recent successes with “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard,” “Black Renaissance,” “Resist,” “Trapped: Cash Bail in America,” “A Day in the Live: Wizkid,” and “Bear Witness, Take Action 2.” Additional shows are currently in production and slated to be released in the coming months.

We’re excited about the work that has already happened and looking forward to the work that is still to come later this year and throughout the duration of the Fund. On June 21, 2021 we will officially open grant applications for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 and I’d like to invite you to apply to be part of our next class. In addition to creators and artists, we are expanding eligibility to songwriters and producers. Also, for the first time, we’re opening up applications for those based in Canada, in addition to the U.S., UK, Brazil, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Artist, and Songwriter/Producer grants will also be available in Australia.
We are committed to being advocates and allies to the diverse communities that call YouTube home and we are continuing to expand our efforts to support other marginalized and underrepresented communities. We will have more to share on those initiatives in the coming months. It’s a responsibility we embrace and also an incredible opportunity to make a difference and leave a lasting positive impact. We’re up for the challenge and look forward to promoting equity and inclusion for the long-term.

With gratitude,
Malik Ducard - on behalf of an engaged and passionate YouTube team

For more information about our music-specific initiatives for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, please visit: