Black Lives In Music (BLIM) chief executive Charisse Beaumont has said that the stories of Black professionals across the music industry are fuelling the organisation’s fight for change.
BLIM is celebrating its second anniversary and Beaumont, who was inducted into the Roll Of Honour at this year’s Music Week Women In Music Awards, has been speaking about their achievements so far.
“We have achieved so much in such a short space of time, but we couldn’t have done it without the support of our partners but most importantly the musicians, creators and professionals in the music industry who we advocate for,” Beaumont said.
She added: “These individuals trusted us with their stories and we are grateful. We are driven to see change because of the voices of those sharing their experience of being Black in the music industry. This alone is what motivates us. Thank you all for being a part of this journey. Imagine what more we can all achieve, if we work together.”
Managing director Roger Wilson said the past two years have been a “whirlwind” for the organisation.
“I’m immensely proud of the work that the organisation has delivered on, and in an incredibly short space of time,” Wilson said. “Equally, I’m excited and enthused by the discussions and collaborations that we have enjoyed with the wider music community. We believe that honest, open conversations drive social change. There is a considerable way to go in our aim to build a truly inclusive music community, but we feel assured that this objective is achievable through hard work, conversation and collaboration. We look forward to the work ahead with much excitement and thank all who have supported us thus far.”
Imagine what more we can all achieve if we work together
This week, Beaumont and Wilson were joined by artist Shingai Shoniwa as the trio spoke at the House Of Commons to present BLIM’s work to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. BLIM has appealed for government action on transparency over the gender and ethnicity pay gap that exist in the music business, asking for an annual report and accompanying commitments.
Beaumont commented: “We need government support for the facilitation of the Industry Wide Anti Racism Code of Conduct and Independent Standards Authority to tackle Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment in the UK music industry. We are grateful to the APPG on music for being a supportive voice for the issues that are Black Lives In Music are bringing to public discussion.”
BLIM also revealed that it is now an Arts Council Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO). Bradley Wilson has been selected as the inaugural Conductor in Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.
Honest, open conversations drive social change
The organisation's achievements over since its formation also include the publication of Being Black In The UK Music Pt.1, the largest survey of Black musicians and industry professionals to date. BLIM has also created its Industry Wide Anti-racism Code Of Conduct and launched mentoring programme BLIM Connect.
BLIM has entered into partnerships with a number of organisations, including Warner Music Group, the Royal Opera House and the Musicians’ Union.
The organisation has recently been present at the Misogyny In Musicinquiry, set up by the Women and Equalities Committee.
In a recent interview to celebrate her position on the Women In Music Roll Of Honour, Beaumont told Music Week that BLIM uses “data and advocacy to make an impact and work with organisations who are ready to be the change the industry needs to see”.
Read the full interview here.