Video platform YouTube has announced its first selection of 132 speakers for its first ever Black Voices class. Artists and creators globally have been chosen to receive multiyear funding and support from the platform, with them pledging $100 million dedicated to the cause.

The speakers are from the US, UK, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria and are promised to be from a range of artistic backgrounds such as beauty entrepreneurs, activists, musicians, comedians, poets, teachers, personal trainers and photographers. The group are familiar with the media platform, having previously been involved with YouTube black events which has seen them invited to participate in the programme.

Throughout their time on the programme, creators will be offered funding from the $100 million Black Voices Fund to use how they see fit. The Fund will also be used to aid channel development, partner support, workshops and networking. The social media giant plans to create new partnerships with at minimum 500 individuals by 2023.

Malik Ducard, the VP of Content Partnerships at YouTube commented on the programme and their relationship with creators, ‘“We wanted to dial up and show our commitment to this community in a new way, and a much bigger way.” He added, “These are meaningful partnerships and investments for these creators. There are no strings attached to funding. The creators can invest in their content and themselves as they see fit. Our hope is these artists will become the biggest and most influential Black voices on our platform.

All images from Shuttershock.