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A MESSAGE FROM THE ACADEMY: HOW THE MUSIC COMMUNITY MOVES FORWARD

Recording Academy Chairman and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr. reached out to members on 6/8 regarding the current climate of violence and unrest—and outlined several changes the org pledges to make.

Dear Friends,

The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult as we’ve grappled with the reality that racial injustice has permeated our country for centuries. It has been powerful to watch how the music industry took swift action to drive change.

The Recording Academy was no exception. In these critical times, our Board of Trustees, leadership team and all of you have locked arms in solidarity to address this important issue. We have entered a new chapter of transformational change and proudly stand with the rest of the music industry to make our collective voices heard in the fight for racial justice.

As a first step, last Tuesday we closed our doors and joined the #theshowmustbepaused movement created by Jamila Thomas (Atlantic Records) and Brianna Agyemang (Platoon). We also committed to the long-term work required to fight racial injustice and drive systemic change.

Internally as an organization and externally as part of the music industry, we pledge to take the following actions:

  • Donate: We are committed to driving lasting change through racial equity and criminal justice reform. Today, we commit $1M to Color of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization driven by 1.7 million members to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.
  • Amplify the voices of Black creators: We commit to amplifying the voices of Black creators and will host a series of live and digital programs and events to promote Black music and shine a light on racial injustice.
    • We will publish a digital catalogue of Black artists across genres that the world should know and support
  • Educate: We are committed to making the Recording Academy a diverse and inclusive environment for underrepresented communities to work and thrive. We have a lot of work to do and recognize that learning (and unlearning) inclusive practices is key.
    • We will be hosting a series of internal conversations to inform our D&I strategy and to educate managers on how to lead diverse teams
    • We will be launching an Inclusion Rider to be implemented at the Recording Academy with the goal for it to be used across the entire music industry
    • We recently hired a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and have seen the value, therefore, we are appealing to music companies and major labels to add a Diversity & Inclusion leadership position to their organizational chart
  • Let’s get started: We pulled together key resources and highly recommended reading below to help us all get started on the learning journey:

We recognize that these commitments require deep collaboration internally and across the industry but they are too important to push down the road. We also realize that this is just the beginning but we are committed to this work. We don't have all the answers but we will strive to keep learning, listening, and growing. Thank you for all that you do each day in support of our mission.

Sincerely,

Harvey Mason Jr.
Chairman and Interim President/CEO
Recording Academy

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