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Changing the world, one channel at a time

Honoring those who’ve made a difference in the face of indifference.

YouTube’s mission is “To give everyone a voice and show them the world.”

But we know that every voice has the power to change the world for the good of countless millions around the globe.

To recognize these voices, YouTube has launched “Channel Changers,” a celebration of creators and artists who have made a tremendous social impact. This year, we are proud to acknowledge the transformative work of 10 YouTubers whose unique vision and selfless commitment are forever altering the trajectory of our interconnected lives.

Just as the Channel Changers for 2021 hail from every corner of the planet, they have also dedicated their channels to a variety of inspiring social causes - from cleaning the world’s oceans and beaches to promoting tolerance across race and sexual orientation. Let’s meet the awardees for 2021 and the changes behind them!

YouTube Creator Prajakta Koli

MostlySane (Prajata Koli),

Last year, your content made us laugh and touched so many hearts! We *love* your #RealTalkTuesdays and how you invite viewers in, sharing advice and vulnerabilities. Whether discussing climate change, working to empower women and girls, or vlogging about mental health, you always make big issues that we all deal with relatable, funny, and inspiring. We love how you spread awareness with so much joy and humor added in!

YouTube Creator ZHC


In a year that was craving delight and distraction from the misery of a protracted pandemic, you continued to show us that the world is your canvas. You filled so many lives with light-hearted color and kindness, whether it was paying people for their art or giving away a house to a stranger. And when you painted a children’s hospital and paid for the children’s medical bills, we knew exactly how much you spent to cover these costs. But we will never be able to put a price on the joy and relief you brought to so many embattled parents and their ailing sons and daughters.

Rapper, singer, and songwriter Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X,

No one had a 2021 quite like you! From Montero *finally* being released to so many incredible videos to all the looks you turned, you were one of the most talked about creators of the year. What you also did at every turn was advocate for persons like you, helping raise awareness of LGBTQ rights and all the intersections within the community. Representation matters – and the representation you gave for the LGBTQ community worldwide empowered and inspired change. Thank you for being you and for championing and celebrating people like you!

YouTube Creator Victoria Volkova

Victoria Volkova,

You accomplished so much in 2021, all while sharing your mental health, therapy, and gender identity experiences while getting honest about the pressures of social media. Your advocating for the LGBTQ community and activism for transgender rights not only empowers the community, but has reached people worldwide, helping to make a change with every upload. Thank you for creating a dialogue and for making a meaningful impact - all while showing off *spectacular* makeup skills too!

YouTube Creator Eugene Lee Yang

Eugene Lee Yang,

Your documentary We Need To Talk About Anti-Asian Hate helped spotlight an issue and start important conversations, both online and off. You showed what it looks like when creators use their platform to amplify a community and be a voice for change. While these conversations can be difficult, they’re necessary – and you served as a conduit for these discussions. We’re in awe of your creativity, your bravery, and your impact. Thank you for opening doors for people by bringing your whole self to every video and perspective that you share.

YouTube Creators Jimmy Donaldson, AKA MrBeast, and Mark Rober

Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) and Mark Rober,

With #TeamSeas, you created a movement and a moment, helping to remove 30 *million* pounds of trash from our waters. This was a literally HUGE accomplishment! With the environment becoming an increasingly important topic of discussion, we’re so lucky to have creators like you leading conversations and change. You showed that creators can have fun, be creative, and make an impact on the planet – and not just once but twice, given the success of #TeamTrees. You inspire us and creators all over the world. Thank you for sharing and caring so much!

YouTube Creator Lucy Edwards

Lucy Edwards,

You have been a beacon of understanding, helping viewers around the globe and us appreciate the experiences of persons who are blind. From sharing the everyday (how you do math and how you pick out an outfit) to the more grand in scale (getting your guide dog, Molly, and collabing with Jammidodger & Shaaba), you’ve made our world a bigger, better place by opening doors of awareness – and we’re not alone! With Shorts like “How Does A Blind Girl Do Her Makeup” racking up over 5 million views, you show the importance of trying something new, to experience life your own way. Your joy and dedication make YouTube and the planet a more inclusive home for everyone.

YouTube Creator Felipe Castanhari

Felipe Castanhari,

From deep dives into 90’s nostalgia and exploring historical events to busting conspiracy theories open and creating deeper understandings of race, you truly are gifted in taking big subjects and turning them into entertainment. Thank you for using your platform again and again to raise awareness about the environment, highlighting important issues like pollution and global warming. With each video, you inspire a new generation of socially minded creators to merge subjects like the environment with entertainment so seamlessly.

YouTube Creators The Onyx Family

The Onyx Family,

You truly fed our souls and healed our hearts with every upload in 2021. Your Onyx Family Dinner episode “Nikole Hannah-Jones Talks The 1619 Project” inspired us to ask questions, to be curious, and to challenge the status quo. You not only sparked meaningful conversation around how we teach history, but around our understandings of racial justice, mental health, and politics. Creators like you make YouTube a bright, more thought-provoking place!

Congratulations to all the 2021 Channel Changers! Their impact will continue to be felt for a long time to come, whether it's healing the world or enriching our lives. But just as importantly, their dedication to social causes will inspire the next generation of Channel Changers.