The Recording Academy Just Established a Black Music Collective

by Jeremy Spirogis
Grammy Award

The Recording Academy is continuous its range efforts. On Sept. 3, the group introduced the creation of its Black Music Collective, which is able to work to amplify Black voices within the Recording Academy and the music trade.

Grammy Award
The trophy of the Grammy Awards | GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP by way of Getty Images

The group’s Diversity Task Force report

In May 2018, Tina Tchen and 18 others created the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. The Task Force investigated the Recording Academy’s nationwide governance committees, nomination evaluation committees, Board of Trustees, and the President/CEO.

A 47-page-long report by the Task Force was revealed on Dec. 12, 2019. The report discovered issues inside the Recording Academy and bigger issues within the music trade, together with:

  • “Underrepresentation of ladies within the music trade, notably inside the trade’s technical fields.
  • Prevalence of harassment, discrimination, and/or assault as a result of casual or remoted work environments.
  • Restriction of airtime or participation by feminine artists, notably in nation music.
  • Underrepresentation of people of decrease socioeconomic means because of excessive prices of entry.
  • Lack of equal entry to sources for disabled people.
  • Marginalization of sure ethnicities into explicit roles or genres.
  • Phasing out of older technology music trade professionals.”

RELATED: Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. Talks to Us About Changes on the Organization

The Recording Academy created a Black Music Collective

Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend, and Sylvia Rhone are honorary chairs of the Recording Academy’s new Black Music Collective. The creation of the committee comes from the group’s promise to create a Black music advisory group.

“The Black Music Collective is necessary to help drive the Recording Academy into a new era. Creating an open space for Black music creators can only benefit our membership as a whole,” stated Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, in a press launch. “Through the past few months, I’ve been personally invested in propelling this collective along with Chapter leadership within the Academy. Together, we will elevate Black music creators within our organization and the industry at large.”
 
Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy, added, “As Black music continues to drive culture, it is essential we grow and maintain representation within the Academy and the music industry… We’re thrilled to help develop the leaders of tomorrow with impactful educational and experiential programs that we will announce in coming weeks.”

RELATED: The Recording Academy Just Partnered With a Racial Justice Organization

The Recording Academy partnered with Color of Change

Before kicking off the Black Music Collective, the Recording Academy partnered with Color of Change, a racial justice group that pushes “decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.” The Recording Academy additionally donated $1 million to Color of Change.

“Music plays a profound role in shaping our culture, and Black music has been the cornerstone in the development of the world’s dynamic soundscape,” stated Butterfield Jones in an announcement. “The Recording Academy has entered a new chapter of transformative change, and we are honored to partner with Color of Change as we work together to set new standards to elevate Black music creators and build a more diverse and equitable industry.”

With the creation of the Black Music Collective and partnership with Color of Change, the Recording Academy is working to implement methods to assist Black music creators and professionals.

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