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Color Of Change and the Recording Academy® Announce #ChangeMusic Roadmap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Color Of Change and the Recording Academy® Announce #ChangeMusic Roadmap

Latest partnership initiative puts forth a roadmap to bring racial justice and equity to Black creators and professionals in the music industry 

December 17, 2020 Today, Color Of Change (COC) and the Recording Academy® announced the latest step forward in their partnership with the release of the #ChangeMusic Roadmap, a guide to move the music industry beyond conversation and intention and towards actionable racial justice. Initially announced in October 2020 at the industry-wide #ChangeMusic Summit, the project is the latest initiative the partnering organizations have launched to promote tangible change within the music industry.

Combining Color Of Change's deep knowledge and understanding of inequities and systemic racism with the Recording Academy’s position as the world's leading society of music professionals, the two organizations announced their partnership this past July, and have been working together to identify key opportunities to drive and influence change in the music industry. This has spanned several strategies, including the creation of the Black Music Collective an initiative which has also endorsed the roadmap, an industry-wide diversity and inclusion summit, partnership in advocacy and legislative efforts and more. The roadmap rolled out today specifically identifies key areas the industry can improve upon in its treatment of Black people: Invest in Black talent and careers, commit to transparent reporting of Black representation, align and partner with the Black community, promote civic advocacy and participation and invest in Black safety.

Black creators and professionals lead the music industry in innovation and creativity. Despite their undeniable influence, Black music industry contributions are routinely undervalued, an injustice this new roadmap aims to address. The #ChangeMusic Roadmap urges the industry to change patterns of exclusion and degradation and take action toward progress through the following:

  • Invest in Black talent + careers by supporting retention and training measures for Black people.
  • Commit to transparent reporting of Black representation by conducting a third-party and public-facing diversity audit and annually reporting pay disparities.
  • Align and partner with the Black community by contracting with Black-owned and Black-led businesses and partnering with brands that are in alignment with anti-racist social justice values.
  • Promote civic advocacy and participation by giving employees paid time off to participate in national elections.
  • Invest in Black safety by aligning with and supporting current calls around reexamining the role of police in Black communities and addressing structural issues in the criminal justice system.

You can view the full roadmap here. It is the second industry-wide racial justice roadmap. The first was the #ChangeHollywood roadmap Color Of Change released with Michael B. Jordan and in close partnership with WME.

“In a year of uprising, sickness, and distance, music has been both a healing force and a call to action. It’s helped us process our pain and drive social change. This moment offers an unparalleled opportunity to change patterns of exclusion and degradation and take action toward progress,” says Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change. “To honor and amplify Black artists’ past, present, and future contributions, the music industry must tear down the barriers that have been up for far too long. #ChangeMusic is our first step.” 

“Change cannot wait. We believe this #ChangeMusic Roadmap will be key to driving progress in the Academy and the music industry. It was developed over the last few months with the goal of holding ourselves accountable. The roadmap is intended to serve as an important tool to support the changes we must urgently make together in music,” said Harvey Mason jr., chair & interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy. “This is a new era of the Recording Academy and we won’t stop until the work is done. The Recording Academy and Color Of Change invite our peers and partners to join us on this transformational journey.”

“Disrupting the status quo is our top priority and the #ChangeMusic Roadmap is a key driver for real change,” stated Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Recording Academy. “We salute Color of Change for their leadership and deeply appreciate their partnership during this unprecedented time. The Recording Academy will continue to move with urgency and measurable action to accelerate equitable outcomes for Black Music.”

“For decades, the music industry has been built on the backs of gifted Black creators and professionals and there’s been an awakening as the groundswell for equity and racial justice grows in volume and urgency,” said Riggs Morales and Jeriel Johnson of the Black Music Collective. “Representation is the gateway to equity, and at the heart of the Black Music Collective’s mission is the acceleration and sustainability of Black representation within the Recording Academy and music industry at large. Because of this, the BMC is honored and proud to join this defining moment and endorse the #ChangeMusic Roadmap. We look forward to fighting for a more just and equitable future in music.” 

Color Of Change and the Recording Academy look forward to partnering with other music industry leaders to adopt the #ChangeMusic Roadmap, and to take larger steps towards true justice for Black creators and professionals. 

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Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org

About the Recording Academy

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards® — music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, “like” Recording Academy on Facebook, and join the Recording Academy's social communities on Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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