Warner and UMG take action for Black Lives Matter, donate $100 million and launch social justice task force respectively
Two of the “Big Three” have taken decisive action in the Black Lives Matter movement as a response to the nationwide outcry at racial injustice and police brutality. Following an industry-wide black out dedicated to honoring the deaths of George Floyd and black citizens at the hands of law enforcement as well as collectively pausing to reflect on the fight against racism, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group have launched their own initiatives in support of the crucial cause.
On Wednesday June 3, Warner and the Blatvanik Family Foundation announced a $100 million fund to support organizations and causes related to the music industry, social justice, and campaigns against racism and violence. Further, an advisory panel will be established and aid in identifying music community spaces and social justice areas to support while determining factors like financial gifts and timing.
“This fund will support the extraordinary, dedicated organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against racism and injustice, and that help those in need across the music industry. Our advisory panel, which will draw from a diverse cross-section of people from our team and the wider community, will help us be very thoughtful and accountable in how we make an impact. We’re determined to contribute, on a sustained long-term basis, to the effort to bring about real change,” stated Warner CEO Steve Cooper.
In a memo to staff issued on Sunday May 31, Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge also announced the corporation’s intent to launch a task force dedicated to inclusion and social justice initiatives. Chief Counsel Jeff Harleston has been appointed to lead the task force where the executive-comprised group will ensure actionable moves companywide. Grainge called for an “unprecedented sense of urgency” and for employees to use their influence in making change—noting that there would be opportunities for everyone to be involved.
“But, as we know, protest is just a start, not a solution. Real and constructive change—lasting change—requires sustained focus and unwavering commitment over time,” wrote Grainge.
“Everything—raising our voices in Congress, providing additional employee education and assistance, enhancing our philanthropy, using the power of our astonishingly vast catalog to effect change—everything will be on the table. The systemic nature of the problems are just too critical to leave anything off.”
Featured Image: Austin Hargrave