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Recording Academy Names 16 To Music Industry Diversity And Inclusion Task Force

image from celebrityaccess.comFormer Obama administration official Tina Tchen, now Chair of the Recording Academy’s new task force on diversity and inclusion, has announced the names of 16 members who will join her in examining the barriers and biases affecting women and other underrepresented voices in the music industry.

The announcement follows wide-spread public criticism which arose in response to the low representation of female artists during this year’s Grammy Awards, and a comment made by Academy chief Neil Portnow in which he suggested that female artists and executives needed to “step up” in order to get ahead in the music business.

image from www.hypebot.comFrom 2011 until 2017, Techen served as Assistant to President Barack Obama; Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls

According to a statement released by the Recording Academy, since her appointment Tchen has been busy “meeting with and listening to constituents across the music community, using that feedback to assemble a task force that is balanced in perspectives and interests to ensure that the group is independent and focused on making progress in the industry.”

The task force is set to meet shortly to begin its work with a review of Recording Academy operations and policies across the areas of corporate governance, hiring and promotion, membership, awards, and the GRAMMY Awards telecast.

The newly announced members, who come to the organization from a wide variety of roles across the industry include:

  • Stephanie Alexa, vice president of finance and licensing administration, ATO Records
  • Michele Anthony, executive vice president and executive management board member, Universal Music Group
  • Cam, Grammy-nominated artist
  • Common, Grammy-winning artist
  • Sheryl Crow, Grammy-winning artist
  • Andra Day, Grammy-nominated artist
  • Giselle Fernandez, award-winning television journalist
  • Jimmy Jam, Grammy-winning artist
  • Beth Laird, CEO and co-owner, Creative Nation
  • Debra Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks
  • Rebeca Leon, co-founder and CEO, Lionfish Entertainment
  • Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP
  • Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
  • Ty Stiklorius, founder and CEO, Friends At Work
  • Julie Swidler, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel, Sony Music
  • Dean Wilson, CEO, SEVEN20

As one of its first orders of business, the task force has established a feedback tool to collect public input and suggestions for the group’s review and consideration. Anyone interested in providing suggestions for the task force can do so by visiting

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