UK Music published its Diversity Report 2022, which alongside revealing the data from the UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey, also highlighted some of the fantastic campaigning work that’s been taking place, which includes Black Lives In Music.
Black Lives in Music exist to combat racism, uniting organisations and musicians to create a truly inclusive and diverse music industry. They use data and insights to campaign for equity and support the empowerment of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse musicians, to realise their aspirations.
In 2021, Black Lives in Music published their report, Being Black in the UK Music Industry. The research found that 88% of Black music professionals agreed there were barriers to progression in the music industry.
Discussing progress, Director of Operations Roger Wilson said; “There’s a zeitgeist of talking, discussion and acknowledgement that I never thought I would see.” He continued, “I’m more confident in the direction of travel now. It’s the speed of travel that is hard to find. We’re somewhere on the circuit, but not around the first bend.”
For its 10th anniversary, Classical:Next commenced with a gala performance showcasing diversity and excellence in classical music. The opening ceremony was produced by Black Lives in Music in collaboration with British Underground and Arts Council England.
The programme featured two world premieres by award winning British composers Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Saxophonist/Composer Jason Yarde.
The organisation has exciting plans for 2023, including the launch of a new anti-racism code of conduct.
Black Lives in Music Chief Executive Officer Charisse Beaumont said: “The code is the outcome of several roundtable meetings with leaders of over 90 organisations across the sector.
“The meetings bought consensus on ideas and actions, including an industry-accepted anti-racist code of conduct and a telephone support service for the victims of discrimination.”
It is proposed that the the anti-racism code will be enforced by an independent standards authority, with the aim of providing accountability and prevention.
Charisse said: “Companies need to look around, open their eyes and prioritise racial diversity and respect for all. We have all the evidence we need. We now need action.”
Alongside the code, Black Lives in Music have been working with organisations on how they use language, the extension of their network into Black creative communities, the management of day-to-day incidents in the workplace, and the development of learning resources, mentoring schemes and apprenticeship opportunities.
Summing up the current state of play, Roger said: “We need honesty and transparency. Not just from the smaller, more nimble organisations, but from larger companies too – it’s critical.
“We get it – why would you walk in someone else’s shoes if they were uncomfortable? But we need real inclusion. Working with Black Lives In Music is not a panacea but it’s a start, a chance to reboot. We’re at this stage after 40 years of campaigning. We need to go much further in the next 40.”
Find out more about Black Lives In Music here.
Read the Diversity Report 2023 here.Back to news