Evelyn Ngugi, an Austin YouTube star better known to some fans as “Evelyn From the Internets” on Thursday was named one of 27 Creators for Change. The program promotes positive social change by choosing video makers who are “tackling social issues and promoting awareness, tolerance and empathy on their YouTube channels.”
Ngugi is one of only two creators chosen from Texas (the other is Subhi Taha from the Dallas area) and will receive equipment and production grants as part of Creators for Change; she’ll participate in social-impact camps in New York and Mumbai and will receive mentorship from program ambassadors.
Ngugi, who uses humor to tackle big topics as well as to review books, music and to discuss aspects of her own life, had one of her biggest brushes with fame when a video she created about Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album was actually played on the musician’s “Formation” tour. Ngugi discussed it last year on the “Statesman Shots” podcast.
512tech caught up with Ngugi about Creators for Change in a short interview:
512tech: First of all, congratulations! How did you learn about this announcement and what was your reaction?
Evelyn Ngugi: The news came via email! I'm so used to spam and empty business pitches, so I almost didn't believe this was a real email from YouTube. This opportunity was a complete surprise and I kept singing "blessings keep falling in my lap" in my best Chance The Rapper voice!
What’s your relationship with YouTube been? Has the impact your videos have had surprised you?
YouTube helped me find my people! My Internet Cousins keep me laughing with their hilarious stories and way of seeing the world. The impact of my videos isn't necessarily surprising — I'm a child of the Internet so I know the power we all hold to connect and influence others through the screen.
What are some ways that humor can create change and influence people, particularly with video and social media?
Comedy can shed light on the nonsensical nature of our prejudices, our ways of thinking and help us feel less alone in our painful experiences.
What kind of change and impact would you like to see this program make?
I would like to see this program continue to provide deserving creators with the resources necessary to share their messages of positivity!
Is there an Austin community of YouTubers? If so, have they helped you along the way to reach this success?
Austin has a community of filmmakers, actors, comedians, improv groups, but it's been tough for me to find YouTubers specifically, apart from one or two friends. Rooster Teeth is here, and they're OG Internet, but I haven't connected with them.
If you’ve never seen Evelyn From the Internets, here’s one of her videos from YouTube:
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