New York-based non-profit leaders, Women In Music, announces their Diversity & Inclusion Council today, which includes top executives such as Chissy Nkemere (Concord), Nikisha Bailey (Atlantic Records), Mayna Nevarez (Nevarez PR), and Sonja Kim (Pandora). The council will also include male members in an effort to create an inclusive and more equitable music community overall. Executives include Jeff Hammer (Northwestern Mutual), Michael Adams Jr., (Asylum Records) and Nick Maiale (Music Business Association).
The Diversity & Inclusion Council initiatives will be spearheaded by Chairman, Chissy Nkemere who is currently the Senior Director of Streaming Marketing at Concord. The Ohio native has been passionately contributing her time and words to achieve collective social justice and equality in the music industry through panels, feminist organizations and published work. Chissy excitedly shares, “When Nicole approached me to serve as Chair for Women In Music's Diversity & Inclusion Council, it was an immediate yes. Being able to use my experience to help amplify the work of a diverse community of women, while connecting to and learning from young talent on the rise is an incredible opportunity. I'm proud to be part of this growing team and excited for this new direction for Women In Music!”
Nicole Barsalona, President of Women In Music adds, "Our goal in creating the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Women In Music is to make sure we are being intentional in all of our work and to meet the needs of underrepresented groups that too often go unaddressed under the larger gender equity umbrella. We want to open up the conversation in a real and impactful way - for women of color, for the LGBTQ community, for our male allies, and more - to create a safer, more inclusive and more equitable music industry for all. I can’t think of anyone better than Chissy to lead the way - I know she'll be a powerful and inspiring voice for our members and partners, and I can't wait to see what we can all accomplish together!”
WIM and its Diversity & Inclusion Council plan to create a series of events globally within their chapters and at WIM’s industry conference events in 2020 to learn, educate, open conversations and offer resources. The events will take place in 8 countries worldwide, that includes the U.S., Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, India, Japan, UK, and 10 cities across the U.S. that include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Portland and Washington DC.
In addition to the various global events, WIM will prioritize its Diversity and Inclusion Council as part of their WIM 50/50 program by inviting speakers and performers with diverse perspectives at conferences. The 50/50 initiative was created to drive equal representation in the music industry where women are outnumbered. The goal of 50/50 is to partner with industry conferences to help program keynote and panel engagements for women executives.
Last night, Women In Music hosted its annual holiday bast at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, sponsored by ASCAP, Downtown, Amazon Music, BMI, Cosynd, Distrokid, MPress, Northwestern Mutual, Reservoir, SESAC, Songtrust and Viacom, where WIM’s President Nicole Barsalona surprised guests by announcing the Diversity & Inclusion Council and sharing plans for 2020. The celebrations included performances by Latin GRAMMY Producer of the Year, Ella Bric and SAYGRACE.
Last month, Women In Music launched its Mentorship Program, which facilitates one-on-one relationships by matching women with music industry professionals to provide education and career development opportunities. The Diversity and Inclusion Council will also be involved to implement change. The mentors include Gabrielle Peluso (Warner Music Group), Bridget Perdomo (Universal Music Group), Cindy Charles (Twitch), Mayna Nevarez (Nevarez PR), Sonja Kim (Pandora), Chissy Nkemere (Concord) and Nikisha Bailey (Atlantic Records). For more info, please visit here.
To become a member of Women In Music and learn more, please visit womeninmusic.org here. WIM membership offers access to 40+ educational and networking events around the world, a membership directory and group discussion forum, job postings, industry resources and discounts, and more!