Sony Music Group has launched a $100 million fund “to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world,” the company announced Friday (June 5), noting it will immediately begin donating to “organizations that foster equal rights.”
“Racial injustice is a global issue that affects our artists, songwriters, our people and of course society at large,” said Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer in a statement. “We stand against discrimination everywhere and we will take action accordingly with our community fully involved in effectively using these funds.”
Sony Music earlier revealed it would be matching employee donations to several social justice charities worldwide during the month of June, including the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, The Innocence Project and Unicorn Riot. The company will also be expanding its mental health support for staff in partnership with outside experts in race and mental health, with resources to be made immediately and permanently available to employees in need of grief counseling. It will additionally continue to work with outside experts to advise the company on its inclusion and diversity commitments and expand its previously-announced unconscious bias training program, which began rolling out last year, to all employees.
In language from a June 3 staff memo obtained by Billboard — sent in the wake of an employee forum held the day prior — Stringer committed the company to devoting not only money but “time and energy” to social justice causes moving forward.
“A big takeaway from yesterday is that the discussions we started must continue,” Stringer wrote. “We can be a company where these difficult, uncomfortable conversations occur more often. To facilitate these platforms for being heard, we plan to hold more regular employee forums in the coming year.”
Stringer added, “Some of the above actions are extensions of the work we’ve been doing and we will do so much more in the coming weeks and months to fight racism and injustice globally. All of us have a role to play, and we’ll be looking to you for help and ideas as we work together to be part of the solution.”
Since nationwide protests broke out last week in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the “Big Three” major record labels — Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music — have all unveiled initiatives designed to address systemic racial injustice.
On Wednesday, WMG announced the creation of a $100 million fund to “support the music community and groups promoting social justice” in partnership with the Blavatnik Family Foundation. UMG followed Thursday with a detailed look at its newly-convened Task Force for Meaningful Change, which will devote resources to a range of initiatives designed to address and promote “tolerance, equality, and elimination of bias, within UMG, the music community and the world at large.”