The Recording Academy Just Partnered With a Racial Justice Organization

The Recording Academy is working hard to promote racial equality and social change within the music industry. Recently, the Recording Academy partnered with racial justice organization Color of Change to make positive change. The Recording Academy also invited 2,300 diverse music professionals to join as members.

Recording Academy
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The Recording Academy partnered with Color of Change

Color of Change is a racial justice organization that pushes “decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.” With the new partnership, the Recording Academy will work to create more power for Black music creators and professionals in the music industry through several strategies that will begin in 2020.

“Music plays a profound role in shaping our culture, and Black music has been the cornerstone in the development of the world’s dynamic soundscape,” said Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the Recording Academy, in a statement. “The Recording Academy has entered a new chapter of transformative change, and we are honored to partner with Color of Change as we work together to set new standards to elevate Black music creators and build a more diverse and equitable industry.”

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The Academy made a $1 million donation

Color of Change will provide advisory support to the Recording Academy’s implementation of the industry Inclusion Rider and Toolkit, and the Recording Academy also donated $1 million to Color of Change.

“Music has the power to reach new people and fuel social progress,” Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change, said in a statement. “We look forward to building a long-term partnership with the Recording Academy and hope the work between our two membership-based non-profits will advance quickly accelerating changes in the industry.”

The Recording Academy invited 2,300 members to join

On July 9, the Recording Academy formally invited 2,300 new members to join the organization. The announcement and invitations came after the Academy’s Peer Review Panel evaluated new member submissions virtually in April 2020.

“Building out our membership body is a process that encourages inclusivity from start to finish, and it’s a privilege to extend invitations to the 2020 class of invitees that represent the wide-ranging backgrounds and crafts that makes the music industry so unique,” said Kelley Purcell, Senior Director of Member Outreach at the Recording Academy. “These individuals will become the driving force behind the Recording Academy, and it’s encouraging to see how our membership continues to evolve each year as we take steps toward building a more inclusive and vibrant community.”

According to a press release from the Recording Academy, the 2020 class of invitees is diverse, with 48 percent of the invitees being female, 21 percent are of African American/African descent, 8 percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent.

“We are proud of the strides we’ve made toward ensuring our membership is diverse and inclusive, which is reflected within this new pool of invitees,” Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “While this progress signifies meaningful impact, there’s still more work to be done. We’ll continue to fight to achieve inclusive representation across gender, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, and beyond within our community. Furthermore, we’re excited to see how the contributions of the incoming new member class will help inspire meaningful change within the music industry.”