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Bringing the StoryCorps experience to video through YouTube Creators for Change

By Juniper Downs

Head of YouTube Public Policy

Diversity is our nation’s strength, yet in America today, we are seeing new levels of fear and misunderstanding. It’s never been more important to sit down and listen to each other -- hear each other’s stories, learn about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes, and remember what makes us unique and what we all have in common.

That’s why we launched our YouTube Creators for Change program back in September, an initiative dedicated to amplifying the voices of YouTube role models who are tackling division and hate by creating videos that share stories of hope, connection and understanding. Today we’re introducing our latest initiative in this program: a new partnership with StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and archiving oral stories from all Americans.

Through this new collaboration, we’re teaming up with StoryCorps to help start a national conversation about identity and belonging in America, beginning with a production program at the YouTube Spaces in L.A. and N.Y. in December. At these Spaces, we will create custom-built sets that look and feel like the iconic StoryCorps recording booths where participating creators will help extend StoryCorps recordings to video. These creators will be able to come in with a friend, loved one or person they respect to talk about their experiences in our country as it stands today - both the good and bad.

As part of YouTube Creators for Change, we’re also proud to support the StoryCorps' campaign #WhoWeAre, created in partnership with Upworthy. The #WhoWeAre series features animated stories of everyday Americans selected from the StoryCorps archive that help us remember our best selves.

We hope these conversations will inspire people around the country to reflect and share their own personal stories about who they are and who they want to be. We’re thrilled to be working with StoryCorps on bringing their approach to listening and recognizing our shared humanity to video, and can’t wait to share more on our work together in the coming months.

Juniper Downs, Head of Public Policy for YouTube, recently watched #WhoWeAre.