Screenshot of #ChangeMusic Roadmap
The Recording Academy And Color Of Change Announce #ChangeMusic Roadmap
The Recording Academy and Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization, today (Dec. 17) 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.
View the #ChangeMusic Roadmap in full.
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 industry-wide diversity and inclusion summit, partnership in advocacy and legislative efforts and more.
The #ChangeMusic Roadmap rolled out today specifically identifies key areas the music 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.
The #ChangeMusic Roadmap is the second industry-wide racial justice roadmap. The first was the #ChangeHollywood roadmap Color Of Change released with actor Michael B. Jordan and in close partnership with Endeavor.
"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," Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, said in a statement. "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," Harvey Mason jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "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," Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy, stated. "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,” Riggs Morales and Jeriel Johnson of the Black Music Collective said. "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 toward true justice for Black creators and professionals.