Last week saw an important announcement from the video platform and music streaming service’s CEO, Susan Wojcici.

2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least. With the Covid-19 pandemic finally beginning to show signs of improvement, May and June saw the global consciousness shift to a long-standing issue of seismic importance that has resurfaced with a renewed urgency: the global fight against systemic racism and racial injustice. In response, many organisations within the music and media industries have made attempts to address the issue in their own way. One of the most significant of these responses was made by YouTube, who recently announced a $100m fund designed exclusively to promote content produced by people of colour.

“We’re committed to amplifying Black voices, including a new $100M content fund, and to examining how our products and policies work for the Black community.”

YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcici

The first piece of content backed by this fund aired as a livestream on the platform under the Youtube Originals channel. This content, titled Bear Witness, Take Action, was a fundraiser for the Equal Justice Initiative and the live-stream raised over $1,000,000 for the charity, while encouraging others to take action. In a statement within the video description, the creators urged others to “use your platform to call out racial injustice, and share the message of equality to educate those around you. Maybe your platform is the dinner table, Maybe it’s bedtime stories, Maybe it’s your YouTube Channel. Use it!”

“Use your platform to call out racial injustice, and share the message of equality to educate those around you.”

Bear Witness, Take Action

YouTube has promised to continue actively promoting similar content throughout 2020 using their “Spotlite” feature. Other major corporations are now following suit and making efforts to promote and amplify black voices, with many companies making donations to organisations fighting racial injustice, and participating in the industry-wide “Black Out Tuesday” on June 2nd.

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