Mulika Sannie on how the BRIT Trust is supporting diversity in music

Mulika Sannie on how the BRIT Trust is supporting diversity in music

It’s a new era at the BRIT Trust, which has recently appointed Tony Wadsworth as chair.

During the charity’s first three decades, it has donated more than £27 million to a range of causes that promote education and wellbeing through music. While it has faced fundraising challenges during the pandemic, the BRIT Trust continues to support good causes.

The BRIT Trust is also working to improve diversity in music with the appointment of Mulika Sannie last year as a trustee. She has already introduced the BRIT Trust Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which she chairs.

Here, Mulika Sannie (who joined the Women In Music Roll Of Honour last year) shares her BRITs memories and opens up about the charity’s work to ensure that music and the creative arts are accessible to all irrespective of background…

My earliest memory of the BRIT Awards was when I was in still in secondary school in 1996 – the infamous performance by Jarvis Cocker and his unauthorised on-stage “collaboration” with the late Michael Jackson. I remember at the time thinking, “My God, the music industry is crazy but it looks like a lot of fun!” As a young teenager, I honestly didn’t envisage myself working in the music industry as an adult (I was still fantasising over wearing power suits like Amanda Donohoe did in LA Law in the courtroom – those of us old enough will know the style!).

It wasn’t until my final year of secondary school that I had heard of The BRIT School. Although music is my passion, as I couldn’t play an instrument or sing I was deeply disappointed that I had to go to a “normal” college to do my A-Levels and not the cool and hip BRIT School, where a few of my friends went (to say I was jealous of their musical talents was an understatement). It had not occurred to me back then that the BRIT Awards and the BRIT School were connected.

The Trust is dedicated to ensuring that music and the creative arts is accessible to all irrespective of background

Mulika Sannie

Fast Forward 20-plus years and I am very proud and honoured to be a trustee of the BRIT Trust. Since becoming a trustee in summer 2020, I have seen directly how pivotal the BRIT Trust is in not only supporting the education of young people in the creative arts arena (The BRIT School), but also in supporting the use of music to enhance and improve the lives of those who are experiencing physical or mental challenges (Nordoff Robbins). Through funding, which is largely derived from The BRIT Awards and the annual Music Industry Trust Awards (MITS), the BRIT Trust is able to support thousands of people every year from diverse backgrounds (irrespective of race, gender, age, disability or any other protected characteristic), not only through the BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins, but through many other charities also.

Never has the power of music to enrich lives, bring people together from different backgrounds and bring joy to people’s days been more important than recently where many of us are facing personal as well as professional challenges in these life-changing, unprecedented times.

The Trust is dedicated to ensuring that music and the creative arts are accessible to all irrespective of background. It is for this reason why myself and other members of the Trust have created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to ensure that the Trust, through its work and funding, is doing all it can to reach those who have historically gone unheard.

Whilst over the past 30 years the Trust has done a phenomenal job, our work as a charity is not done. All of the trustees continue to strive to do better, be better and be responsive to the ever-changing needs of the music and creative industries. The Trust is here to serve such industries and we are excited about what the future has to hold and the talent and innovative ideas the new generation will bring. This will enable us to ensure that the next 30 years will be even bigger and better than the last 30 years (which is going to be hard). But I believe we can do it… and I couldn’t have joined the Trust at a better time.

Click here to read our blog from BRIT Trust chair Tony Wadsworth.


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