The Black Music Coalition (BMC) has revealed details of its executive committee and set out its manifesto at its first town hall meeting.
The meeting took place this week and the BMC, which formed in the wake of Black Out Tuesday, named Sheryl Nwosu (chair), Motown Records UK’s Afryea Henry-Fontaine, BMG’s Char Grant, Parlophone’s Komali Scott-Jones and intern Yasmine Dankwah on its executive committee.
The BMC has set out its mission to “protect, promote and advance the interests and views of black professionals within the UK music industry and to act at all times for the betterment of black industry professionals”.
The group is working towards achieving equity and equality through positive action and the advancement of black industry professionals and all black lives in the UK.
The group is currently pursuing a four-point plan as it pushes to eradicate the racial disparities and systemic barriers affecting black employees, executives, freelancers and independents across all sectors of the UK business.
The four points were outlined as follows:
The BMC will create a social and professional infrastructure to promote connectivity between black employees, executives, freelancers, and independents working in the UK music industry.
The group will collate and highlight the unique challenges faced by black professionals who work now or previously have worked in the UK music industry, which have led to poor retention of those professionals and the lack of representation at very senior levels within the corporate sector. The BMC will work with businesses to ensure initiatives are created and, in the long-term, practices maintained to ensure equality of opportunity for black employees in relation to career progression.
The organisation will facilitate access to the provision of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and diversity and equality education and training for all professionals in the music industry and encourage businesses to ensure such training is mandatory.
Finally, the BMC pledges to lobby and advocate on behalf of educational organisations that promote the teaching of Black history and culture in education in the UK.
Literature made available following the town hall meeting also stated the BMC’s aims around legacy building. The group said it will “highlight untold stories and celebrate the many unsung heroes of our scene”.
“We believe that alongside lobbying for change in the industry, it is essential that we are intentional and strategic about documenting our culture and contributions, for the benefit of Black professionals past, present and future,” the organisation said.
Finally, the BMC has created a Resource Pack, comprising a list of over 90 opportunities, organisations and industry professionals spanning charity, career development, funding, therapists and unconscious bias training. The Resource Pack is available to music companies and the BMC will charge for its use.
The accompanying information stated: “The BMC intends to charge a sum to music companies and organisations for this Resource Pack as we assert that, whilst Black professionals in the industry begin the task of making the changes spoken about, set out here, and through other efforts and initiatives, our labour is not free.”
Read our interviews with Afryea Henry-Fontaine and Whitney Boateng here. In the same issue of Music Week, Kanya King, Kwame Kwaten, Ray Blk, Curtis Sharkey and Alexandra Ampofo also shared their music industry experiences.