Common performs at the "Let's Go Crazy: The GRAMMY Salute To Prince" in 2020
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
YouTube Announces $100 Million Fund Supporting Black Creators, Confirms Online Fundraiser Hosted By Common And Keke Palmer
YouTube has announced a $100 million multiyear fund aimed at supporting Black creators and artists on the platform.
In a post shared on the company's official blog, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined the video-sharing platform's larger initiative to support creators and users from the Black community. The announcement is part of the company's midyear update, which also discusses YouTube's COVID-19 and educational initiatives, among other things.
This Saturday (June 13), starting at 6 p.m. EST, YouTube will premiere the "Bear Witness, Take Action" livestream fundraising event, which Wojcicki describes as "one example of the type of content we'd like to elevate on the platform" via the newly announced initiative.
Produced by YouTube Originals, the online event will "bring together creators, artists, influential public figures and prominent activist voices for roundtable discussions and musical performances," according to the blog post.
Hosted by three-time GRAMMY winner Common and actress/singer-songwriter Keke Palmer, the digital fundraiser will also include performances from John Legend and Trey Songz, according to Variety. The event will benefit Equal Justice Initiative, which works toward "ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society," according to the organization's website.
Panelists and guests for "Bear Witness, Take Action" include Ambers Closet, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Patrisse Cullors, Tremayne Anchrum, Carmelo Anthony, AyChristeneGames, Danielle Bainbridge, Essang Bassey, Shalom Blac, Asante Blackk, Sterling K. Brown, Wilmer Valderrama and several others.
"At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism," Wojcicki wrote in the blog post. "We join in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others before them."
"Our platform has been a place where people come together since YouTube first launched 15 years ago," she continued. "And in the midst of uncertainty, creators continue to share stories that might not otherwise be heard while also building online communities."
For the month of June, the company will also highlight racial justice issues, "including the latest perspectives from the Black community on YouTube alongside historical content, educational videos, and protest coverage," per the blog post, across its Spotlight channel.
"Building on our work over the past several years, we're taking this moment to examine how our policies and products are working for everyone — but specifically for the Black community — and close any gaps," Wojcicki writes. "And more broadly, we will work to ensure Black users, artists, and creators can share their stories and be protected from hateful, white supremacist, and bullying content … There is much work to do to advance racial equity in the long-term, and these efforts will continue in the months and years ahead."
YouTube's initiatives come as several nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, specifically against Black people and people of color, have continued for more than two weeks in response to the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other black U.S. citizens by police.
Head to the YouTube blog to read the company's midyear update in full.