Graphic: The Recording Academy
How The Recording Academy's 2022 New Membership Class Reflects Its Ongoing Commitment To Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Composed of nearly 2,000 diverse music creators and professionals, the 2022 New Member Class signals the organization's continued progress toward cultivating a community that embodies the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry.
Like never before, the Recording Academy is committed to cultivating a community that embodies the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry. And this continued progress is beautifully reflected in the Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class, which is composed of nearly 2,000 diverse music creators and professionals.
Of the invitees who accepted their Recording Academy membership invitation, sent to more than 2,700 music professionals in June, 44% are from traditionally underrepresented communities; 47% are under the age of 40; 32% are women; and 52% are male. The remaining 16% are composed of individuals who identify as non-binary and those who opted not to disclose.
The complete statistics surrounding the demographics of the Recording Academy's 2022 New Member Class can be found here and below.
The 2022 New Member Class marks four years since the Recording Academy transitioned to a community-driven and peer-reviewed annual cycle. This was in an effort to create a more diverse and engaged membership base representative of the ever-evolving musical landscape.
Since implementing the new model in 2019, the number of women members has increased by 19%, and membership among traditionally underrepresented communities has increased by 38% — now accounting for 31% and 33% of the Recording Academy's current membership, respectively.
Furthermore, the Recording Academy has added 1,913 women to its Voting Membership since 2019 and is now 77% of the way to reaching its goal of adding 2,500 women Voting Members by 2025.
In an annual address to the organization's membership body, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. highlighted the significance of Academy membership and each constituent's unique opportunity to create a lasting impact on the music community. In the address, Mason also highlighted key initiatives and milestones for the Academy and welcomed the organization's 2022 New Member Class.
"After years of listening, learning and putting in the work, we're beginning to see results of our efforts to diversify the Academy's membership come to life," Mason stated in his address. "Our members are the lifeblood of this organization, powering everything we do from the inside out. When we have diverse people representing all corners of the industry contributing unique perspectives, progress is achieved at a rapid pace.
"The journey is just beginning," he continued, "and I can't wait to work alongside our new and existing members to build on the Academy's commitment to effecting real, meaningful change."
The annual member address also underlined a series of further milestones, including the five new GRAMMY Awards categories created in June and to be awarded at the upcoming 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical; Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Performance; Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album.
Just as monumental is the newly announced Best Song For Social Change award, a Special Merit Award curated by a Blue Ribbon Committee, which is now accepting submissions through Friday, Oct. 7.
Mason's address also underscored the Recording Academy's efforts in leading the fight for the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act in California and the RAP (Restoring Artistic Protection) Act on the federal level that would restrict the use of rap lyrics and other creative works in court. (Today is the deadline for Recording Academy members to register for District Advocate Day 2022, taking place on Thursday, Oct. 6. Learn more about and register for District Advocate Day here.)
Aside from submitting product for GRAMMY Awards consideration and voting during the GRAMMY Awards process, Recording Academy members can propose amendments to GRAMMY Awards rules; run for a Recording Academy Board position or Committee; vote in Chapter elections; support fellow musicians through Advocacy efforts and MusiCares initiatives; engage with the Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing and Songwriters & Composers Wing; and much more.
Learn more about the Recording Academy's membership process and requirements. And keep checking RecordingAcademy.com for more information and news about exciting developments regarding our Recording Academy membership initiatives and members, the beating heart of this society of music people.
Recording Academy Elects 19 New Leaders To Its 2022-2023 National Board Of Trustees
Infographic Courtesy of the Recording Academy
Everything You Need To Know About The Recording Academy's 2023 At-Large Trustees Election
The Recording Academy's 2023 At-Large Trustees Election, open Tuesday, May 16 — Monday, May 22, is a pivotal opportunity to shape a well-rounded Board of Trustees and ensure diverse Recording Academy leadership. Here's everything you need to know.
Diverse representation in the Recording Academy's leadership relies on the active participation of its membership. Open Tuesday, May 16 — Monday, May 22, the 2023 At-Large Trustees Election once again provides Voting and Professional Members a chance to have a say in who represents them and directly elect their fellow creators and professionals to the Board of Trustees.
A robust turnout for this election can make a meaningful difference in the future of the Academy. Every ballot cast increases the likelihood of having a well-rounded Board that reflects the varied backgrounds, genres, and disciplines of the wider music community.
Whether this is your first time voting or you need a refresher, here's everything you need to know about the Recording Academy's upcoming 2023 At-Large Trustees Election.
When is the 2023 At-Large Trustees Election?
The At-Large Trustees Election is held each spring. The 2023 election opens Tuesday, May 16, at 8 a.m. local time and runs through Monday, May 22, at 11:59 p.m. local time.
What is the difference between Chapter Board Elections and the At-Large Trustees Election?
During Chapter Board Elections, which took place in March, Voting and Professional Members vote to elect Governors to their local Chapter Board, and Chapter Boards vote to elect their respective Chapter Officers and Trustees.
During the At-Large Trustees Election, all Voting and Professional Members have the opportunity to elect four Trustees to the Board of Trustees.
Who is eligible to vote in the At-Large Trustees Elections?
All Voting and Professional Members of the Recording Academy are eligible and encouraged to vote in the At-Large Trustees Election.
Who serves on the Board of Trustees?
The Board of Trustees is composed of 42 total Trustees. Four Trustees serve as National Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Chair Emeritus). Of the remaining 38, eight Trustees are elected At-Large by the entire Voting and Professional membership. Since Trustees serve staggered two-year terms, only half of the Board seats are up for election each year.
All members of the Board of Trustees meet the same qualifications and serve the same goal: to uphold the mission of the Recording Academy and serve the music community at large.
Infographic explaining the Recording Academy's 2023 At-Large Trustees Election voting process | Infographic Courtesy of the Recording Academy
Who votes for Trustees?
Chapter Boards (Chapter Governors, Chapter Officers and Trustees) elect 15 Trustees each year during the Chapter Board Elections in the spring.
Voting and Professional Members elect four Trustees each year during the At-Large Trustees Election in May.
What are the responsibilities of Recording Academy Trustees?
In service to the greater music community, members of the Recording Academy Board of Trustees are responsible for:
Why is voting in the At-Large Trustees Election important?
Your vote helps ensure a diverse, inclusive and representative Board.
As demonstrated by the Recording Academy's richly diverse 2022 New Member Class, the Academy is committed to cultivating a true sense of belonging that embraces all communities, musical influences and crafts that power the music industry. Members have an opportunity to elect leaders who reflect this inclusivity.
The Board of Trustees holds a responsibility to serve the needs and aspirations of our vastly diverse music community and ensures the policies and procedures put in place by the Academy represent the values of all members. In partnership with Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., the Board of Trustees helps strategically guide and shape the mission and policies of the Academy and its commitment to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, fight for creators' rights, protect music people in need, and preserve music's history and invest in its future.
Your vote makes a difference.
Voting in the At-Large Trustees Election ensures that your concerns and values as an active participant of the music community are heard and accurately represented on a national scale.
Voting is a right and a responsibility for all members.
While we love hearing creators' voices on stage and in recordings, it's our responsibility to listen to their concerns, ideas and recommendations to keep our Academy and our industry evolving.
Your vote is your voice.
As a member of the Recording Academy, your vote is tremendously valued and has the power to impact the Academy's greater goals and operations.
How can I vote in the At-Large Trustees Election?
When the At-Large Trustees Election opens on Tuesday, May 16, at 8 a.m. local time, Voting and Professional Members will receive an e-mail from the Recording Academy's online voting partner, Simply Voting, containing a direct link to their online ballot and a unique username and password. Please note this login is different from each member's Recording Academy login.
Once members click on their ballot link, they can review the candidate bios and cast their votes. Voting for the At-Large Trustees Election closes Monday, May 22, at 11:59 p.m. local time.
If members did not receive an e-mail with their ballot, we ask them to please check their spam folder and add email@example.com to their approved senders list. For any further questions or issues, members can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Recording Academy Governance and view the current list of Elected Leaders.
Your Vote, Your Voice: 6 Reasons Why Your GRAMMY Vote Matters
Photo: Dave Arnold
How The Recording Academy And United Nations Human Rights Are Tackling Climate Change: 5 Takeaways From The Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series
The first activation of the Recording Academy's collaboration with United Nations Human Rights featured impassioned speeches about climate change and unforgettable performances from the Lumineers frontman Wesley Schultz and special guest Yola.
For centuries, music has soundtracked the fight for societal change and revolutions around the world. From the protest anthems of the Civil Rights Movement to the powerful songs fueling the protests in Iran, music has remained an essential ingredient in the ongoing battle for progress and universal equality. Now, the Recording Academy, in partnership with United Nations Human Rights, continues this long tradition of championing progress via music.
This month, the Recording Academy announced a partnership with several United Nations Human Rights-supported global initiatives that aims to promote global social justice via the power of music. The multifaceted campaign will invite leading artists to use their talents and platforms to advocate for United Nations Human Rights goals, including advocating for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community as well as a host of other human rights issues, including gender equality and climate justice.
The Right Here, Right Now Music initiative — a partnership between the Recording Academy and the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance (Right Here, Right Now) — aims to combat the human rights crisis resulting from climate change, a timely issue impacting vurnerable communities around the world.
The Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series, the first activation in this newly announced partnership, addressed this important issue head-on. The concert, held in Colorado's iconic Boulder Theater on Thursday, April 13, enlisted major artists, including the Lumineerslead singer and co-founder Wesley Schultz and special guestYola, as well as leaders in the music and intergovernmental industries to call attention to the human rights implications of climate change.
The powerful performances from Yola and Schultz — combined with speeches addressing the importance of utilizing music as a tool to combat climate change — created an atmosphere of longing with an undercurrent of hope for the future.
"I wanted to show our support for these hosts, the Recording Academy and the United Nations [Human Rights], at this forum that addressed the interconnectedness of human rights and climate change," Schultz told the Recording Academy via email about his involvement in the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series. "As touring musicians, we can raise awareness about sustainable goals and inspire dialogue about the global climate crisis. As touring musicians, we can raise awareness and amplify calls to action for governments, education, businesses, and individuals to fight the global climate crisis.
"It is everyone's responsibility to help battle climate change," he continued. "But as touring musicians, we must work to seek out real solutions to the sizable carbon footprint that being on the road causes. That's why I'm working with an organization like Sound Future, who are working on finding systemic fixes to help touring become more carbon neutral."
The Recording Academy attended the inaugural Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series in person. Below are five key takeaways from the collaborative launch event.
The Event's Location Was Chosen Deliberately
Outdoor marquee sign at the Boulder Theater in Colorado for the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series on April 13, 2023 | Photo: David Rose
David Clark, founder and CEO of Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance, explained that launching the Mini Global Climate Concert Series in Boulder, Colorado, an area he described as a "hotbed" for climate justice, was a very conscious choice.
"We've got amazing national labs that are coming up with cutting-edge technology, cutting-edge data, research that's shaping the climate dialogue around the world," he said at the concert.
Boulder was also the home of last year's Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit, which hosted experts from over 100 nations, including Mary Robinson, the former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of Ireland.
The Climate Crisis Is A Human Crisis
The climate crisis already disproportionately impacts socially vulnerable groups: women, children, low-income families, and other historically marginalized communities.
"Human-caused climate change has already caused substantial and irreversible damage to ecosystems and livelihoods with disproportionate impacts on people in ongoing situations," Benjamin Schachter, UN Human Rights Team Leader for Environment and Climate Change, explained from the stage.
Schachter emphasized that countless lives have been lost due to the climate crisis already, and millions of people are displaced by climate and weather-related disasters annually.
Music Creates Powerful Connections
(L-R) David Clark, Harvey Mason jr., Chantel Sausedo, Benjamin Schachter | Photo: David Rose
The Recording Academy has a long history of championing change through the power of music — a point highlighted throughout the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series.
"Music is a crucial means of [catalyzing transformative action]," Schachter said. "It constitutes a common language, a means of expression."
"Music has some special abilities," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, explained in an impassioned speech from the stage. "It has the ability to give a voice to those that have none, to shine a light on injustices that exist in our world, and to inspire us all to take action."
Mason jr. also amplified an impactful message that reflected the theme of the night: Music is not just a means for entertainment, but a "powerful tool to galvanize social movements to speak the truth, the power to create community and to bring disparate people together for a common cause."
The World Must Band Together
Yola performing at the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series at the Boulder Theater in Colorado on April 13, 2023 | Photo: David Rose
Internationally acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated guest artist Yola performed a no-frills set of raw, vocally driven songs intertwined with the mellow strum of her acoustic guitar. Many of Yola's songs spoke to her newfound strength to stand up for herself, a concept she explored on her 2021 album, Stand For Myself, and clap back at those in power — an appropriate theme that resonated throughout the environmental justice concert.
"This next one might be a little on the nose," Yola chuckled on stage as she introduced her aptly named, GRAMMY-nominated song, "Diamond Studded Shoes," and described the diamond-studded heels of a politician who was "slapping the meals out of kids' hands." The song's moving lyrics — "For the life and soul of the world we know/Fight, 'cause the promise is never gonna be enough" — and theme fully captured the message of the night: Even if things might be bad, resistance is possible and "it'll be fine if we just band together," she said.
Small Actions Lead To Impactful Change
Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers performing at the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert Series at the Boulder Theater in Colorado on April 13, 2023 | Photo: Dave Arnold
Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers took the stage to thunderous applause. Like Yola, Schultz's performance was an unedited glimpse at his raw talent: a 45-minute set composed of just his voice and an acoustic guitar.
Between songs – some of which were covers, others originals – Schultz shared stirring glimpses into his personal life, from his dad's death to a psychedelic-infused trip he had with his wife.
Schultz also shared that his wife, Brandy, is a co-founder of Sound Future, a nonprofit focused on "accelerating climate innovation for the live event industry," according to the organization's website. He explained how Sound Future used flexible solar panels and the heat of the Texas sun to power the stage at Willie Nelson's concert in Luck, Texas.
"It's a very simple idea, right? That we can turn certain things that seem really daunting into something that's very doable," Schultz reflected on the stage. "I think we can all make these little steps here and there, [combined] with the brilliant minds that people have out there, to make some innovation, to make [live shows] a little more friendly on the environment."
Learn more about the Recording Academy's and United Nations Human Rights' partnership, and stay tuned for future news and developments.
Fight The Power: 11 Powerful Protest Songs Advocating For Racial Justice
Image courtesy of the Recording Academy
4 Key Takeaways From The "Your Future Is Now" Scholarship Program, According To Past Scholarship Recipients
Past recipients of the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship, presented by the Black Music Collective and Amazon Music, reflect on what they learned from the program, which provides mentorship opportunities and grants to HBCU students and music programs.
Earlier this month, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC) — together with Amazon Music — relaunched the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program for the third consecutive year.
This innovative program is designed to provide students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to explore all facets of the music industry by offering unique networking opportunities with revered music industry leaders.
This year, five HBCU students will be selected to take part in the program; each recipient will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. In addition, the BMC and Amazon Music will award two HBCUs $10,000 grants each for equipment for their music programs. The scholarship program also includes an immersive rotational program with Amazon Music and Recording Academy department leads.
The deadline to apply for this year’s "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program is this Friday, April 28. Selected scholarship recipients will be announced on Monday, May 8.
To celebrate this unique, career-building opportunity, the Recording Academy is highlighting past recipients of the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship, who reflected on the lessons they learned from the program and discussed its impact on their burgeoning careers.
Photo courtesy of Amir Duke.
Attending HBCU: Morehouse College
Major: Economics with a minor in sales
Class of 2023
The biggest lesson that I learned during my experience in the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program is the importance of genuine relationship building in the music business.
Being able to network with like-minded individuals and have strong relationships based on similarities and interests will take you far in the music business.
Exploring opportunities and taking your time in the music business is key to longevity. I learned not to rush my career process and to take each opportunity with grace.
Photo courtesy of Zsana Hoskins.
Attending HBCU: Howard University
Major: Journalism major with a minor in music
Class of 2024
I learned that the music industry has many layers, and there isn't one particular way to enter it.
There are so many more roles that are available to those who aspire to have a career in music outside of the cliche ones we often hear about. And the journey to a music industry career isn't linear at all.
Everyone's path is different, but the goal is achievable.
Photo courtesy of Jasmine Gordon.
Attending HBCU: Spelman College
Major: Comparative women's studies with a concentration in branding and marketing in the music industry and a minor in entrepreneurship
Class of 2025
I had the privilege of interacting with a diverse group of music industry professionals and creators who shared a valuable lesson with me.
I learned the importance of not confining oneself and placing yourself in a singular box, but instead expanding beyond one's creative boundaries and exploring different avenues.
As a young, Black creative, this perspective was particularly impactful for me as it showed me that there are no constraints to my passions within this industry.
I am now inspired to continue to break barriers and pursue my creativity with an open mind.
Photo courtesy of Jayden Potts
Attending HBCU: Jackson State University
Major: Music technology
Class of 2026
The biggest lesson I learned during my experience in the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program is that everyone's path is completely different. Nobody has an exact path to the career they landed in.
It showed me how they persevered through every position they had and pushed forward to their goal in mind, motivating me to do the same.
Your Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities
Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy
The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective & Amazon Music Announce Third Annual "Your Future Is Now" Scholarship Program
The innovative "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program aims to provide mentorship opportunities and donations to HBCU students and music programs.
When it comes to uplifting historically marginalized communities, the Recording Academy doesn't just talk the talk — it walks the walk.
The Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC) — together with Amazon Music — have today relaunched their "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program for the third consecutive year.
Established in 2021, the program is designed to provide students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to explore all facets of the music industry by offering unique networking opportunities with revered music industry leaders, including an immersive rotational program with Amazon Music and Recording Academy department leads.
This year, five HBCU students will be selected to take part in the program and will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. In addition, the BMC and Amazon Music will award two HBCUs $10,000 grants each for equipment for their music programs.
The scholarship application opens today (Monday, April 3). Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently enrolled at an HBCU pursuing a bachelor's degree in music, music business, business administration, marketing, communications, or a related field of study. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, April 28. Selected scholarship recipients will be announced on Monday, May 8.
Apply for the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program now.
"We are thrilled to bring back the 'Your Future Is Now' scholarship program in collaboration with Amazon Music for a third year," said Rico Love, Vice Chair of the Recording Academy Board of Trustees and BMC Chair. "With the support of our incredible DEI team Zing Shaw, Ryan Butler and Ricky Lyon, we are committed to leveling the playing field for the next generation of Black musicians and professionals by providing them with invaluable mentorship opportunities and experiences to prepare them for careers in the music industry."
"As a member of the Spelman College family, I know how HBCU networks serve as an ongoing sources of friendship as well as professional support. Projects like the 'Your Future Is Now' scholarship are vital to extending these connections to the next generation of HBCU students," said Phylicia Fant, Head of Music Industry and Culture Collaborations at Amazon Music. "The bonds these students will build as part of the scholarship program will last for decades to come, and Amazon Music is thrilled to be at the forefront of diversity and true and meaningful inclusion."
The Recording Academy and the Black Music Collective are thrilled about this impactful development and remain committed to uplifting people of all backgrounds and experiences in the service of one of humanity's greatest gifts: music.
Your Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities