Tina Tchen Helps Spearhead Diversity as Recording Academy Invites 900 to Join
In a bid to boost diversity, the Recording Academy -- the organization that puts on the Grammy Awards -- has invited 900 people to join as voting members. And all of them are people of color, women, or under 39. The move follows recommendations from the Academy's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, a group chaired by Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama. The invitees have until November to accept and become voting members of the Academy. “Our invite initiative is a first step to reach out to the diverse, talented individuals who make up the music community,” said Tchen. “The Recording Academy should reflect the scope and scale of the music industry and recognize the creative and artistic endeavors that enable it to thrive.” The Grammys also greatly diversified its Nominations Review Committees -- the 16 committees that determine the final Grammy nominations. This year, the Committees are 51% female and 48% people of color. This is up from last year, when they were 28% female and 37% people of color. “Having a truly diverse membership is the foundation for any change. This initiative is one of the many ways the Task Force is encouraging change in practices while nurturing a more inclusive organization for Academy members today and for generations to come.” The moves come five months after the Task Force was formed in May following Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow’s comments that women need to "step up" if they want to have a bigger role in making music and in the industry. Just 21% of the Academy's current voting membership is female; 55% is white. Stay tuned to The Beat DC. We’ll keep you posted on whom, among the 900 invitees, accepts their invitation to become voting members of the Academy. More here.