The newly launched initiative of collective comprises a group of eminent black music creators and professionals who share the same objectives of empowering black voices within the Recording Academy and the wider music community.
The Recording Academy announced today (September 3) the creation of its Black Music Collective (B.M.C.), a group of leading black music makers and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy the wider musical community.
As part of The Recording Academy’s commitment to always evolve with the hand in hand with its members, B.M.C. will serve as space for members to talk openly about new and emerging opportunities in black music across all genres and identify ways to generate more representation and recognition.
B.M.C.’s launch follows the Recording Academy’s recent partnership with Color Of Change, the largest national organization for online racial justice, in July, which created a black music advisory group. B.M.C. delivers on that promise and brings together creators and business leaders to develop a pipeline of future industry pioneers. Leaders meet regularly and launch programs that encourage participation and accelerate Black membership of the Recording Academy.
Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Jeffrey Harleston, Debra Lee, John Legend, and Sylvia Rhone will serve as B.M.C. Honorary Presidents. A Distinguished Leadership Committee will be confirmed and announced in the coming weeks and will work with the Honorary Presidents to propel the collective’s mission forward. Recording Academy Administrator Riggs Morales and Washington, DC Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson in Washington, D.C. will internally lead the initiative.
“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,” said Harvey Mason Jr., Chairman and Interim President / C.E.O. of the Recording Academy, said. “Through the past few months, I have personally invested in the propulsion of this collection with the direction of the chapter within the Academy. Together we will take black music makers to the next level within our organization and the industry. ”
“As Black music continues to drive culture, it is essential we grow and maintain representation within the Academy and the music industry,” Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy, said. “We’re thrilled to help develop the leaders of tomorrow with impactful educational and experiential programs that we will be announcing in the coming weeks.”
In March 2018, the Recording Academy had established a third-party working group to examine diversity and inclusion issues within the Academy and the music community at large. The Academy has since taken action in response to the Task Force’s initial assessment and Task Force recommendations and made further progress in fostering a culture of togetherness while recognizing the need to focus on under-represented communities. Recent initiatives include hiring a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, donating $ 1 million to Color Of Change, aligning with the #TheShowMustBePaused movement created by Jamila Thomas (Atlantic Records) and Brianna Agyemang (Platoon), and develop an industry Inclusion Rider and Toolkit to be released by the end of the year.
“This is a new era of change for the Recording Academy, and we are honored to have these leading artists, executives, producers and engineers who are all at the top of their fields join us for such an important moment in our world, our nation and our industry,” Harvey Mason jr., chair and interim president/C.E.O. of the Recording Academy, said. “Black music is part of the fabric of our industry, and it is so reassuring to stand with these leaders to create momentum, bring change, and amplify Black voices.”