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YouTube Commits $100 Million to Highlight Black Artists, Will Livestream ‘Bear Witness, Take Action’ Special

Fern Siegel

To promote black creators on its streamer, YouTube has established a $100 million fund. It’s also streaming “Bear Witness, Take Action,” a 90-minute special encouraging viewers to support racial justice as part of that effort.

Common and Keke Palmer will host the show, featuring numerous black artists and public figures, on June 13 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. The special will include discussions, panels and music.

Moderators include Jemele Hill, Roland S. Martin and Soledad O’Brien. Special guests include Roxane Gay, Carmelo Anthony, Danielle Bainbridge, Shalom Black and AyChristeneGames, among others.

In a blog post, CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote: “At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism.” She noted the platform has strengthened its hate speech and harassment policies to protect all groups, adding: “I’m committed to listening — to Black employees at YouTube, to Black creators, to Black artists, to leaders in the Black community, and to Black users who tune in to YouTube every day.”

Viewers will be asked to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative on the livestream. YouTube has already donated $1 million to the nonprofit.

YouTube will also look to highlight racial justice on its Spotlight channel throughout June.

Separately, Apple chief Tim Cook also announced his company is committing $100 million to the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, a new program.

‘Bear Witness, Take Action’

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