PPL has announced details of a month-long programme marking Black History Month, featuring a series of virtual events and online activities to celebrate and spotlight black culture and talent in the music industry.
An official press release stated: “Black History Month presents an opportunity to further consider and address the insufficient representation of Black British musicians and professionals across the industry. PPL’s programme will look to champion this representation using a mixture of internal and external events, which will highlight the work and contribution of its own Black employees and also that of other Black music creators and professionals working in the UK music industry. Black culture will also be celebrated as PPL staff and Black industry figures share the films, books, and music made by Black creators that mean something to them.”
PPL’s celebration of Black History Month is being spearheaded by its newly formed Diversity Forum, which was formed as part of PPL’s five-point pledge in response to the Black Music Coalition’s call to action for the UK music industry.
In addition to future speaker and seminar sessions, PPL will also be introducing a monetary contribution for employees to purchase educational material on equality, diversity and inclusion topics in October.
Speaking about the launch, Nancy Mills of PPL’s Diversity Forum, said: “Black History Month is a great opportunity to highlight the contributions of the Black community in every part of our lives, not least in music and culture. As Black Out Tuesday recognised, modern popular music would be unrecognisable without the work of Black creators and industry professionals, so it is only right that PPL acknowledges and celebrates their vast contribution to our cultural landscape. We look forward to participating in the events planned for the month and celebrating the often overlooked contribution that Black people have made towards the music and culture of the UK and beyond.”
Peter Leathem, chief executive officer at PPL, added: “The music industry, and our work at PPL, would look very different without the creative and professional contributions of the Black community, and we are pleased to announce a number of activities and initiatives that will mark Black History Month and continue throughout the remainder of the year and into 2021. Award winning tuba player and composer, Theon Cross, Executive Director at Jazz re:freshed, Yvette Griffiths, and Director of the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster, Mykaell Riley, along with our own Black staff members and many others will highlight what the music industry is like for Black professionals and the contributions to it of their predecessors and contemporaries. Elsewhere, PPL employees and other industry professionals will be sharing their favourite works of culture by Black creators. This is the first time that PPL has celebrated Black History Month, so it is fantastic to see our Diversity Forum having such an immediate impact and contribution to PPL and its equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. Our recent AGM election results further reflect our commitment in this area, and I look forward to continuing to help drive positive change to ensure anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, background or any other characteristic, can succeed at PPL and in our industry.”
Yesterday (October 1) Girls I Rate launched a new music industry mentorship programme christened #MENTORME. The programme is exclusively open to a dedicated group of female creatives aged 16-30 from the GIR Army. It will launch with a Black History Month edition. A 90-minute session will be held live online via Zoom between 16:00 – 17:30 on Sunday, November 1.