*Recording Academy on Wednesday announced its new 16-Member Task Force designed to take on issues of diversity and inclusion, with members ranging from several Grammy winners and network CEOs to executives at several major label groups.
Led by Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff to former First Lady Michelle Obama, the task force includes Common, Andra Day, Jimmy Jam and BET CEO Debra Lee.
Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow announced the formation of the task force in early February, following criticism regarding the lack of female artist representation in several categories at this year’s Grammy Awards. Portnow also came under fire for comments he made after the awards, saying women needed to “step up” if they wanted a larger role in the music industry. He quickly apologized, but several called for his resignation.
Tchen was introduced to lead the task force in early March. “I’m honored to lead such an esteemed group of visionaries who possess the experience and passion needed to drive real change in building a more inclusive and equitable music community,” said Tchen. “This is an important first step made possible by the Recording Academy’s leadership, which recognizes the benefit of examining these issues with fresh eyes.”
Focused on female inclusion and diversity, the task force will be charged with identifying the “various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry and, specifically, across Recording Academy operations and policies,” according to an earlier statement, looking at governance, hiring and promotion practices, membership, awards and the Grammys telecast.
According to the Academy, the 16-member task force is set to meet soon. To kick things off, the group is asking for feedback from the public on what they think should be reviewed or considered. Throughout the process, Tchen will update the Academy on the group’s progress.
Below is the full panel:
Stephanie Alexa, vice president of finance and licensing administration, ATO Records
Michele Anthony, executive vice president and executive management board member, Universal Music Group
Cam, GRAMMY®-nominated artist
Common, GRAMMY-winning artist
Sheryl Crow, GRAMMY-winning artist
Andra Day, GRAMMY-nominated artist
Giselle Fernandez, award-winning television journalist
Jimmy Jam, GRAMMY-winning artist
Beth Laird, CEO and co-owner, Creative Nation
Debra Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks
Rebeca Leon, co-founder and CEO, Lionfish Entertainment
Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
Ty Stiklorius, founder and CEO, Friends At Work
Julie Swidler, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel, Sony Music
Dean Wilson, CEO, SEVEN20