• Clement S. Sealy, Jr.

The Black Music Coalition

The Black Music Coalition is a newly fashioned group composed of black music trade executives from the UK. Executives from Warner, Sony, Universal Music Group, BMG, Live Nation, Spotify, and the Music Managers Forum have revealed an open letter calling for speedy motion to finish systemic racism inside the music trade, The Guardian reports



“Coming together and talking about [recent events] and our shared experiences caused us to relive the many instances of injustice, racist comments, and marginalization across our lives including in our experiences within this industry,” the letter reads. “It is a widely shared belief that the music industry has long been a microcosm for these injustices and they continue to play out within the companies you lead, companies which we are a part of. As a result of the passionate and thought-provoking conversations over the last week; the consensus is clear—the time for change is NOW.”


The Letter

As the leaders across the UK industry, who stood in solidarity with us for #BlackOutTuesday, publicly declaring your support and commitment to change, here are our immediate calls to action:

  • Mandatory Anti-Racism/Unconscious Bias training across each respective company for all non-Black members of staff, led by Black Educators in the field and complimentary counseling and holistic services made available for Black members of staff with immediate effect.

  • For each company to commit a specified annual budget to financially support Black organizations, educational projects, and charities across the UK e.g. The Black Curriculum.

  • Career development implemented for Black staff across all business areas including long-standing consultants in order to develop the next generation of leaders. To address, challenge and change the lack of Black staff at Senior Management level and no Black female President/Chairwomen across the industry.

  • Following statements from major labels and management companies, the term “Urban music” is to be removed from your company verbiage and replaced with “Black Music”.

  • Establish a dedicated internal task force to review and with the remit to drive and challenge both the Equality and Diversity aims within your business structure and the advancement of Black executives across your business including equal pay, mentorship, and career progression.

Your public statements of support throughout the recent times were impassioned and we appreciated them, but we now want to drive forward tangible changes, giving power to that show of support.

We expect that these long-overdue steps will be implemented in a comprehensive manner to translate your empathy into a legacy of lasting change and we look forward to working with you to ensure that this happens.

Signed

The Black Music Coalition, The Show Must Be Paused UK, and on behalf of Black executives from Warner Music Group, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, BMG, Live Nation UK, Spotify, and MMF.

The letter outlines calls to come together with statutory anti-racism and unconscious bias coaching, dedicated funds to assist Black organizations and charities, professional growth applications for Black employees, and to cease utilizing the time period “urban music” and as an alternative name it “Black music.” Warner and Republic have both pledged to cease utilizing the time period “urban music” going ahead.

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