Universal Music Group has announced the establishment of a social justice task force following national protests that erupted after the killing of George Floyd last Monday. On June 4, CEO Luckian Grainge released detailed plans for a social justice task force dedicated to justice and inequality, and has established a $25 million Task Force For Meaningful Change which will work both in the short term to support initiatives on the ground and longer term to promote “justice and inclusion” throughout the company.
According to a memo obtained by Billboard, the initiative will be co-run by executives Jeff Harleston and Ethiopia Habtemariam, and will span six areas of focus: aid/charitable giving, global, internal/institutional change, legislative/public policy, partners and programming/curation. Although the initial task force was allotted $25 million, executives say this is only the first wave of a much more extensive initiative to come.
Read a portion of the UMG memo below:
We are living through some of the most challenging times in recent history. While the Black community has long lived with the reality of police violence, the events of the past several weeks have been devastating. From the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd to the senseless killing of numerous protestors fighting for justice, and the appalling, racially charged confrontation in New York’s Central Park, we all have had a front row seat, once again, in the theater of racism, hatred and intolerance.
The problems we are addressing are not new and they certainly do not have easy solutions, but we are dedicated to fighting for real, lasting change. As Lucian wrote, UMG has committed resources and empowered us to create a task force to be both a resource and ally to our internal and external community.
Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC) was created as a driving force for the ongoing fight for equality, justice and inclusion. We are charged with reviewing the company’s commitment to addressing and promoting tolerance, equality, and elimination of bias, within UMG, the music community and the world at large. It is our mission to identify the gaps and deficiencies and to strengthen UMG’s plan with new initiatives.
And EVERYTHING is on the table.