YouTube announced today that it will partner with StoryCorps — a nonprofit that records and archives oral stories from diverse voices in order to pass wisdom through generations — on a new program by which digital creators will be invited to produce video-based StoryCorps interviews at YouTube’s Spaces in Los Angeles and New York.
The program is part of YouTube’s Creators For Change initiative, announced last month, which appoints a group of influencer ambassadors across the globe who will advocate for various causes aided by funding and other resources from YouTube.
Beginning December 5 for 12 days, YouTube will make available custom sets at its Spaces in Los Angeles and New York that look and feel like StoryCorps’ recording booths. A select group of creators who are using YouTube to address social issues will be invited to bring someone to the Spaces for a video-based interview about identity and belonging in modern-day America. Trained StoryCorps staffers will be on hand to help creators facilitate productive interviews, and the nonprofit’s founder and president, Dave Isay, will also present on the culture of listening at both Spaces.
YouTube will also help to amplify these interviews through StoryCorps’ #WhoWeAre campaign, in which the company will support the production of a series of animated StoryCorps interviews created alongside Upworthy — a site that uses virality to address social issues. These animations will share themes of choosing love over hate, YouTube says, and empathy over fear.
“StoryCorps interviews are profound exercises in sharing and listening, and we’re excited to bring that experience to the online video community in this new collaboration,” said Juniper Downs, YouTube’s global head of public policy, in a statement. Added Isay: “Listening to one another’s stories helps remind us of the grace and beauty hiding in plain sight all around us, and of how much more we have in common than divides us.”
The StoryCorps partnership marks YouTube’s second effort for its Creators For Change program thus far. In September, the company allotted $1 million in equipment and production grants to fund videos that tackle key social issues from its global ambassadors, who include: Natalie Tran, Abdel en Vrai, Nilam Farooq, Omar Hussein, Barış Özcan, and Humza Arshad. At the time, YouTube also pledged to work with local NGOs, schools, and media companies around the world to foster social change.