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Annenberg Inclusion Initiative adds music to its partners


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The USC Annenberg university in California is launching a new thing: the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, with music-industry partners including Universal Music backing its efforts around diversity.

“Our new name reflects our continued and unwavering commitment to championing inclusion in all forms – including but not limited to gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT, disability and now mental health – across the media industry at a time when the climate makes it clear that our solutions are more needed now than ever,” said its founder Professor Stacy L. Smith.

“We are eager for companies and individuals to work with us to understand where there are glaring inequities and determine how best to solve them.”

The initiative has a board of advisers including executives from Disney, NBC Entertainment, Sony Pictures, HBO and WME, with Universal Music’s publishing boss Jody Gerson representing the music group. The initiative will include a dedicated ‘Music Coalition’ to focus on diversity in our industry.

“While we have made progress, we still have work to do and my hope is that this study will encourage further dialogue about how we continue supporting women in our business at all levels, from artists to executives,” said WME’s East Coast music leader Samantha Kirby Yoh, who is also on the advisory board.

Stuart Dredge

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