Social media company Snapchat is partnering with Google Pixel, Will and Jada Pinkett Smiths’ Westbrook Media, and others for its effort aimed at supporting Black content creators.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the campaign — called the 523 program, referring to Snapchat’s original office’s address: 523 Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach, California — will give 25 Black content creators support and other resources to help them get the recognition they deserve.
“Black creators face unique systemic barriers across the creator industry — from disparities in compensation and attribution, to toxic experiences and more,” Snapchat officials said in a statement. “We believe one of the ways we can help remove some of those barriers is to provide mentorship and financial resources to emerging Black creators in the early stages of their professional career.”
To qualify for the program, candidates must identify as Black and be an emerging talent who is over the age of 18. The 25 content creators chosen will receive $10,000 a month as a stipend for a year, a new Google Pixel, plus things like mentoring, partner education from experts, exposure, and marketing.
According to the initiative’s website, 523 “aims to build a pathway to success for content companies and creators from underrepresented groups to ensure our ecosystem reflects the diversity within our community.”
Applications for the program are open now through August 12.
“The voices of underrepresented groups have long helped shape mainstream culture, yet these creative minds often don’t see the equitable benefits from their impact,” Starr Nathan, manager of 523, said upon its launch late last year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “If you want to make a real change, you have to embed equity in the business. That’s why we are designing tailored workshops, providing funding, and helping participants build sustainable businesses.”
Smith has maintained a low public profile since he slapped comedian Chris Rock in a now-infamous onstage moment at the 94th Academy Awards in March. Pinkett Smith briefly addressed the stunning encounter on an episode of her Red Table Talk, where she said she hoped the two stars can “reconcile.”
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