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SCANNING THE #CHANGEMUSIC ROADMAP


Color of Change (COC) and the Recording Academy have announced the next step forward in their partnership with the release of their #ChangeMusic Roadmap, a guide to moving the music industry beyond conversation and intention and toward action. Announced in October 2020 at the industrywide #ChangeMusic Summit, the project is the latest initiative the partnering organizations have launched to promote tangible change.

This has spanned the creation of the Black Music Collective, a diversity and inclusion summit, advocacy, legislative efforts and more. The roadmap rolled out today (12/17) identifies areas the industry can improve on 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.

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 and careers by supporting retention and training measures for Black people.
  • Commit to transparent reporting of Black representation by conducting a third-party, 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.

“In a year of uprising, sickness and distance, music has been both a healing force and a call to action,” says COC President Rashad Robinson (pictured). “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. 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,” adds Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. “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. This is a new era for 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.”

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