YouTube today announced “Bear Witness, Take Action,” a conversation aiming to unite and inspire the platform’s global community to take action for racial justice. Premiering Saturday, June 13 at 6:00pm ET / 3:00pm PT, the over 90-minute special will be hosted by Common and Keke Palmer and feature YouTube creators, artists, influential public figures and prominent activist voices. This is the first project from YouTube’s new $100M content fund, also announced today, which will be dedicated to amplifying Black voices on YouTube.
“I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I think it’s imperative that we help amplify Black voices and continue the conversation about meaningful change and racial justice,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. “YouTube has a unique ability to unite creators, artists and powerful voices within the Black community to encourage the world to stand up and speak out for racial justice.”
“The execution of George Floyd – and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – has led to unprecedented protests for racial justice in every part of our nation–and globally. And it started in part because 17 year-old Darnella Frazier defiantly and courageously recorded the video that has forced us all to confront what we were seeing and name it,” explains Malika Saada Saar, a civil and human rights lawyer and Social Impact Human Rights Lead at YouTube. “Video can be a powerful human rights tool, for bearing witness to injustice and ‘Bear Witness, Take Action’ will be part of that hope and urgent call for change.”
Led by Keke Palmer and Common, “Bear Witness, Take Action” will be structured with roundtable discussions and panels, powerful live moments, musical tributes and more. Moderators include Jemele Hill, Roland S. Martin and Soledad O’Brien; panelists include Ambers Closet, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Patrisse Cullors, Kimberly N. Foster, Alicia Garza, Roxane Gay, Eddie Glaude, Andrew Hawkins, Kimberly Jones, Jouelzy, MN FATS, Prince EA, Rashad Robinson, Bakari Sellers, Michael Skolnik, Chaz Smith and Baratunde Thurston; special guests Tremayne Anchrum, Carmelo Anthony, AyChristeneGames, Danielle Bainbridge, Essang Bassey, Shalom Blac, Asante Blackk, Sterling K. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Duke Dawson, De’arra & Ken, Khadi Don, Rasul Douglas, Teala Dunn, Bryce Hall, Skai Jackson, Jamilla & Que, Jarvis Landry, Alonzo Lerone, Indya Moore, Jeff Okudah, Laviska Shenault Jr., Bryan Stevenson, sWooZie and Wilmer Valderrama. The event will also feature moving musical performances from John Legend and Trey Songz. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to support the Equal Justice Initiative directly on the YouTube livestream.
“Bear Witness, Take Action” is the latest project from YouTube Originals. Recent events include “Dear Class of 2020,” a tribute to this year’s graduating class filmed over the course of the last several weeks and centered around the timely themes of hope, resilience, and camaraderie which premiered Sunday, June 7.
The special is produced by SpringHill Entertainment, Fly on the Wall and Byron Phillips. Reginald Hudlin serves as Executive Producer and Showrunner.