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Diversity and Social Change

Diverse perspectives, experiences, and voices are fundamental to music – and to a just society.


RIAA and its members are proud to have been part of recent efforts to change discriminatory laws and the longer-term work of building a more inclusive and equitable music business. It’s a job that will never be finished – but here is some of the work we have done.

RIAA Policies, Programs, and Accomplishments


  • The most diverse Board of Directors in RIAA history.
  • Regular diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops – previous speakers and programming include Dr. Maurice Stinnett, Head of Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Warner Music Group and country artist Mickey Guyton.
  • RIAA COO, Michele Ballantyne, was recognized as a Billboard 2021 Change Agent.
  • Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Content Protection and Enforcement, Mark McDevitt, was recognized on Billboard’s 2021 Pride List of Industry-Shaping LGBTQ Professionals.



  • RIAA has led the music community’s efforts to secure the passage of criminal justice and policing reform nationwide.
  • At the federal level, RIAA led a vast cross-industry coalition in support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
  • At the state level, RIAA has supported police reform legislation in numerous states, including efforts in California and New York to increase transparency and hold police officers accountable for discrimination and abuses of power.


Partnerships & Programs

  • RIAA is a sponsor of the National Museum of African American Music’s Juneteenth Block Party, a free, public event in Nashville featuring live music and a variety of local vendors.
  • RIAA regularly celebrates the accomplishments of diverse and groundbreaking artists, including a recent roundtable discussion with GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, and actress Andra Day honoring artist and civil rights icon Billie Holiday and a special lifetime achievement award presented to the family of Charley Pride
  • RIAA created the “Los Premios de Oro y De Platino” program to recognize the unique contributions and success of Latin music as part of the Association’s iconic Gold and Platinum program.
  • RIAA has partnered with music industry leaders and Tennessee State University to create and implement the Music Business Accelerator Program, a groundbreaking Nashville-based effort to educate the next generation of diverse leaders in our industry and place them in practical internships across the Nashville music community. This summer’s pilot program aims at becoming an entry point into the music industry for students across many HBCUs in the future.

  • Sony Music’s $100 million Global Social Justice Fund supports social justice and anti-racist initiatives globally. The Fund has contributed to more than 300 organizations around the world working on issues including civic engagement, criminal justice reform, and education.


  • Universal Music’s Task Force for Meaningful Change works to support marginalized communities in a myriad of ways, including through charitable giving, community partnerships, and internal programming.


  • The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund supports organizations working to build more just and equitable communities. Focusing on education, arts and culture, and criminal justice, the Fund has supported organizations including the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Howard University, and Black Futures Lab.