Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., delivered the annual address to the organization on Friday (Sept. 9), emphasizing the significance of Academy membership and each affiliate’s unique opportunity to create a lasting impact on the music community. In the address, he also highlighted key initiatives and milestones for the Academy and welcomed the organization’s 2022 New Member Class.
Comprised of nearly 2,000 diverse music creators and professionals, the Academy’s 2022 New Member Class displays the organization’s continued progress toward cultivating a community that encompasses the ethnicities, genres and crafts that power the music industry.
“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 shared. “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, 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.”
This marks the fourth year the Academy has administered a community-driven and peer-reviewed annual cycle to create a more diverse and engaged membership base representative of the evolving musical landscape. Since implementing the new model in 2019, the number of women has increased by 19 percent, and membership among traditionally underrepresented communities has increased by 38 percent, now accounting for 31 percent and 33 percent of the Academy’s current membership, respectively.
Additional Academy milestones and initiatives featured in the annual member address included the Academy’s efforts leading the fight for the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act in California and the RAP Act on the federal level that would restrict the use of rap lyrics and other creative works in court, and the deadline for Academy members to register for District Advocate Day, taking place on Oct. 6.
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