On June 2, the one-year anniversary of #BlackOutTuesday – the viral global action to protest anti-Black racism – BDRB (Breaking Down Racial Barriers) with CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association) and ADVANCE (Canada’s Black Music Business Collective) will host a virtual declaration signing event for music industry leaders to make public their commitment to anti-Black racism.
The event will include speakers Andrew Cash (President, CIMA), Keziah Myers (Executive Director, ADVANCE), Ian Andre Espinet (Co-Founder, BDRB), David “Click” Cox (Co-Founder, BDRB), Shauna de Cartier (President, Six Shooter Records), Steve Kane (President, Warner Music), Erin Benjamin (President/CEO, Canadian Live Music Association), and performances by Jully Black and Shantel May.
The Declaration builds on the findings of last year’s unprecedented “Breaking Down Racial Barriers” roundtable, which featured more than 60 working Black music professionals discussing anti-Black racism throughout the Canadian music and entertainment industry. The 10-part series featured candid, at times uncomfortable, conversations on anti-Black racism and its impact on artists, live event producers, music creatives, economics, media, and the succession and retention of Black music professionals, including executives, throughout the music ecosystem.
“The BDRB Declaration to End Anti-Black Racism in the Canadian Music Industry” commits signatories to measurable actions. Music industry leaders and practitioners will be expected to make an active, conscious, and ongoing effort to work against racism; to create mechanisms to dismantle systems that perpetuate racism; and to create actionable solutions with measurable outcomes. The Declaration acts as a precursor to the CIMA-commissioned BDRB Report on anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry, which will arrive in the coming weeks.