The Recording Academy has announced the creation of the Black Music Collective, “a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and the music community.”
Former BET CEO Debra Lee and Epic Records chair/CEO Sylvia Rhone and veteran musician-producers Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, John Legend will serve as honorary chairs of the Recording Academy BMC, along with Jeffrey Harleston, General Counsel and Executive VP of Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Music Group worldwide.
The leadership committee, when announced, will work hand-in-hand with their honorary chairs to further the Collective’s and the Academy’s mission of encouraging the Black membership in the Academy. Academy trustee Riggs Morales and D.C. Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson will lead the initiative internally, as well.
As part of our commitment to evolve hand-in-hand with membership, Black Music Collective will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music across all genres and identify ways to drive more representation.https://t.co/vfPgLNRQol
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) September 3, 2020
“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,” Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said.
“Through the past few months, I’ve been personally invested in propelling this collective along with Chapter leadership within the Academy. Together, we will elevate Black music creators within our organization and the industry at large.”
In March of 2018, the Academy established a third-party task force to examine issues of diversity and inclusion within the Academy. The Academy has since taken action on the Task Force’s recommendations, including the hiring of a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and a $1 million donation to Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. In July of this year, the Academy announced a partnership with Color of Change, as well.
“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 announce in the coming weeks.”
Learn more about The Recording Academy’s recent initiatives here.