March 25, 2023


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Detailed action plan of the Universal Music Taskforce for inclusion – various iety

7 min read

The industry took responsibility for reflecting on how the industry could support the black community on a day that could be “Blackout Tuesday,” but obviously it’s much more than a day. Universal Music’s Chief Lucian Grenage for the taskforce announced over the weekend, Universal Music’s Chief Lucian Grenage said in a memoir from his co-chair, UMG’s chief consultant Jeff Harleston and Motown Records president Ethiopia Habterriam. It does not include the structure of the task force, its current activities, what will happen – and any information about voter registration. Read it in full below.

Dear colleague,

We are going through some of the most challenging times in recent history.

Although the Krishna community has long lived with the reality of police violence, the events of the past several weeks have been devastating. From the assassinations of Ahmed Arberry, Breona Taylor and George Floyd to the stupid killings of countless protesters fighting for justice and the racist conflict in New York’s Central Park in fear, we have all regained our front row seats. Theater of racism, hatred and intolerance.

The problems we are solving are not new and of course there are no easy solutions to them, but we are dedicated to fighting for real and lasting change. As Lucian writes, UMG has committed to resources and empowered our internal and external communities to create an executive force to be resourceful and collaborative.

The Task Force for Manual Change (TFMC) has been created as a driving force in the ongoing fight for equality, justice and inclusion. We have been charged with reviewing our commitment to tolerance, equality and elimination of bias in the UMG, the music community and the wider world. Our goal is to identify gaps and shortcomings and strengthen UMG’s plans with new initiatives.

And everything is on the table.

There is an incredible amount of work to be done and as part of the first phase of our initiative, we have established a 25 25 million “Change Fund” to invest in the activities described below.


The task force is organized into six areas of focus, including:

On behalf of UMG’s family, Blue Note Records, Bravado, Capital Music Group, Capital Christian Music Group, DF Jam Records, Interscope Jeffen A&M, Island Records, Motown, Republic Records, Universal Musez, Universal Musez. Nashville, Universal Music Publishing Group and Verve Label Group Group TFMC will take initiatives and fundraising with charitable contributions to organizations focused on supporting the following initiatives: economic empowerment and business development; Housing; Legal services and bail; Mental health services; Physical health services; Legal reform; And voting resources and education.

With immediate effect, TFMC will provide support through grants to a number of organizations at an early stage. Black Girl Ventures, Black Lives Matter, Black Mental Health Alliance, Colin Kepernick Foundation, Color Change, Equal Justice Initiative, National Association of Black Journalists, Shame, Silence, California’s Sickle Cell Disease. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis as TFMC continues to identify, review and evaluate potential beneficiaries.

Acknowledging that racism, intolerance and bias know no boundaries, TFMC focuses on global policy adoption and initiatives to address equity, bias, fairness and inclusion efforts for all UMG offices around the world. While TFMC’s primary focus is on police brutality and government-sponsored discrimination, the mission is to identify and address all issues of discrimination, racism and bigotry.

  • Internal / institutional changes

We know we have to work within our own organization and TFMC will examine UMG’s policies, procedures and work environment as we apply to our workforce. These include identifying issues related to bias, discrimination and inequality and initiatives designed to improve the recruitment, advancement, recruitment and maintenance of electronic staff at all levels within the organization. In particular, we will focus on leadership positions and other senior-level roles. For the most part of this effort, TFMC will work closely with UMG HR’s diversification and inclusion team to continue their ongoing efforts and in partnership with USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative.

  • Legal / Public Policy

Law and public policy should be reformed on the path to long-term sustainable change. The TFMC will work with federal, state and local level legislators and officials to work for reforms aimed at bringing about social change. In addition, TFMC will explore opportunities to take legal action to challenge laws and regulations that promote bias and systemic inequality. The TFMC will also focus on voter education, voter registration, and voter participation (e.g., “vote day” drives).

UMG has a history of investing and partnering with partners who have grown out of their business outside the community and are creating the most effective and dynamic voices in entertainment today. We will work side by side with their partners as well as their focused efforts to support change and insight change in their community. Their thoughts and ideas will help us to continue our own efforts in the fight for justice and equality.

Music is the heart of culture, connecting people all over the world. Our goal is to highlight and perfect the conversations around Krishna music, art, lifestyle, fashion, technology and creators around the turn of thoughtful discussions at the current event. The committee will celebrate the contributions of black artists, creators and entrepreneurs throughout the period and promote dialogue, counseling, educational and creative programming on issues of tolerance, equality and inclusion. The committee will bring and expand experts to talk about relevant issues such as economic empowerment and business development, mental health and voting, including their bowling tables and other outdoor series through UMG HR’s diversification and inclusion program.

Steps to get us started today: Please join

For successful, long-term change, we need your help. Two things are very clear:

  • The taskforce is identifying priorities, but it will only work if everyone is actively and meaningfully employed; And
  • We are committed to running both urgent / immediate as well as long-term initiatives. And the set of both initiatives starts today.

Here is where we started and here we are taking some steps first and seeking your support.

  • Staff Town Hall meeting with guest speakers.

We will conduct a series of town hall meetings for staff. For example, today UMG HR hosted a forum with the members of the Black Label Group panel of various and inclusion teams and organizations Arisha Hatch, VP and Chip of Campaigns of Color of Change; Dr. Steven Jones, CEO and founder of Jones Inclusive; And Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist and founder of Therapy for Black Girls, among others. We plan to involve leaders and lawyers, including some members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to continue in more detail.

  • Letter to Congress demanding action.

When turning on the volume. Congress is holding hearings against racial injustice and police violence. We’re providing an easy-to-use system for all employees to help you write periodic emails to members of Congress and senators from the United States demanding serious reform. This is an ongoing initiative that will continue until we see legislation enacted by Congress.

Via UMG All in all the foundation now, We will support a variety of ethnic justice, criminal justice reform and funding for legal aid agencies. UMG is providing immediate funding for our near-term priorities and will provide additional funding if we provide details of our plans.

  • Funding for employee work.

Through us All together now The program, UMG matches the qualifying contribution of employees in the nonprofit group. As of last week, the top recipients of our Matching Fund program include: ACLU; NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Black Lives Matter Fund; King Center for Nonviolent Social Change; Bail Project, Inc.; Southern Poverty Law Center; Minnesota Freedom Fund; Advocacy Committee for Civil Rights under the law; Acquisition area on the north side; And race forward. We are working on adding other companies to the UMG matching program. If there is an organization you would like to be involved with, please let us know.

Inspection All together now Check out the Employee Matching website and all the teams you can support … and how your contribution matches the company. If this is your first time logging in to your Employee Matching Program system, your login credentials (username: your UMG Employee ID #; and password: click here to reset your password))

  • Legal Volunteer Action Center.

A team of our legal staff is organizing to volunteer (or.) Pro bono) Legal work for social justice and criminal justice reform organizations. If you are a lawyer and want to volunteer, please contact Josh Kamzan at Capital Music Group.

Voting is critical. Yes, I am partnering with companies including Will All All Vote, HeadCount, Rock the Vote and IM I VoteR. We will handle information providers, voter registration, and information drives regarding the COVID epidemic and what is on your ballot, how to register, where to vote – and how to abstain. Information is available here for voter registration and for “voter information”.

New York, please note that your primary election date is Tuesday, June 23rd.

What next?

We know our communities, colleagues, artists and partners are being harmed. We feel it and we survive it but we are also encouraged to fight for change. We ask you to lock your arms with us – we want to hear your voice. Time is running out now!


Jeff Harlaston Executive VP, General Council, UMG and Interim Chairman and CEO DF Jam

Ethiopia Habtemarium, President Motown Records and EVP Capital Music Group

Taskforce for meaningful change assistants

With taskforce members:

Alex Boateng, UMG UK

Amaya Davis, Media Manager, Republic Records

Amber Grimes, SVP Global Creative, Capital Music Group

Annie Imamura, VP Global Communications, UMG

Bill Evans, SVP Urban Promotion, Capital Music Group

Brian Nolan, EVP, Capital Music Group

Britney Davis, VP of Artist Relations, Marketing and Special Projects, CMG

Cara Donatto, EVP Head of Media Strategy, Interscope Geffen A&M

Damien Preston, SVP Artist Relationships, Republic Records

Darkas Bis, President and CEO, Island Records

Don Was, President, Blue Note Records

Jeff Buros, SVP Marketing, DF Jam Recording

Jeff Vaughan, President, Capital Records

Joey Manda, EVP, Interscope Geffen A&M

Cardinal Official, Senior Director & R, UMG Canada

Katina Bymon, EVP Urban, UME

ল্যাট্রিস বার্নেট, ইভিপি এবং জিএম, আইল্যান্ড রেকর্ডস

ম্যাগদা ভিভস, ল্যাটিন আমেরিকার জন্য এসভিপি আইনী ও ব্যবসায়িক বিষয়

মার্ক বাইয়ার্স, জিএম, মোটাউন রেকর্ডস

মারলেনি রেস, এসভিপি বিপণন, প্রজাতন্ত্রের রেকর্ডস

নাইম ম্যাকনেয়ার, এসভিপি এএন্ডআর, ইউএমজি এবং ডিএফ জ্যাম রেকর্ডিংস

নাটিনা নিমেন, এসভিপি আরবান প্রচার, ডিএফ জ্যাম রেকর্ডিং

নিকোল উইস্কোয়ার্কো, আরবান অপারেশনসের ইভিপি হেড, ইন্টারস্কোপ জেফেন এএন্ডএম

রডনি শেলি, ইভিপি, ডিএফ জ্যাম রেকর্ডিং

স্যাম টেলর, ইভিপি এন্ডআর, প্রজাতন্ত্রের রেকর্ডস

সিফো দ্লামিনী, ইউএমজি আফ্রিকার ব্যবস্থাপনা পরিচালক

সিকামোর, এসভিপি, এএন্ডআর, ইন্টারস্কোপ গেফেন এএন্ডএম

স্টিভ কারলেস, ইভিপি এন্ডআর, রাষ্ট্রপতি, প্রজাতন্ত্রের রেকর্ডস

ট্র্যাভিস রবিনসন, ভিপি ডাইভারসিটি অ্যান্ড ইনক্লুয়েন্স, ইউএমজি

টিম গ্লোভার, এসভিপি, এএন্ডআর, ইন্টারস্কোপ গেফেন এএন্ডএম

ওয়াল্টার জোন্স, ওয়েস্ট কোস্টের হেড অফ এন্ডআর, ইউএমপিজি

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