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A driving force for equality and social justice, the Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC) works to amplify and expand UMG’s current programs, devise new initiatives and support marginalized communities in the ongoing fight for equality, justice and inclusion. Our work is divided into six areas, including:

  1. Aid/Charitable Giving

    We support initiatives with organizations working in areas such as: economic empowerment and business development; housing; legal services and bail; mental health services; legislative reform; physical health services; and voting resources and education.

  2. Global

    Acknowledging that racism, intolerance and bias know no borders, we are identifying and adopting global policies and initiatives to address equality, bias, equity and inclusion efforts for all UMG offices and their communities around the world.

  3. Internal/Institutional Change

    We examine UMG’s workforce policies and procedures, and work environment. This includes identifying areas to improve access, recruitment, advancement and retention of a diverse workforce at all levels within the company but with a focus on leadership positions and other senior-level roles.

    We work closely with UMG HR’s Diversity & Inclusion team to continue its ongoing efforts and build upon the company’s partnership with USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative.

  4. Legislative/Public Policy

    We pursue constructive social change by supporting public policies via: Federal, state and local legislation to challenge laws and regulations that promote bias and systemic discrimination; and voter education, registration and participation.

  5. Partners

    UMG has a history of investing in, and partnering with, entrepreneurs who have grown their business out of the community, building some of the most impactful and dynamic voices in entertainment today. Working alongside our partners in their focused efforts to initiate and support change in their communities, we reap the benefit of their insights, which help us continue to grow our own efforts in the fight for justice and equality.

  6. Programming/Curation

    Just as music connects people around the world, our goal is to promote dialogue and understanding through speaker fora, counseling, and educational and creative programming focused on the themes of tolerance, equality and inclusion – especially around the intersection of Black Music, art, lifestyle, fashion, technology and creators, as well as celebrating Black artists and creators, and conducting thoughtful discussions on current events.

    We will continue to expand upon UMG HR’s Diversity & Inclusion programming, including their Belonging Table town hall series about diversity and inclusion and other series bringing outside experts to address relevant topics, ranging from economic empowerment and business development, mental health and voting.


We are a group of professionals from across UMG – including our corporate center, labels and companies around the globe.


Jeff Harleston, Co-Founder & Executive Co-Chair, TFMC and General Counsel and EVP of Business & Legal Affairs, UMG
Ethiopia Habtemariam, Co-Founder, TFMC
Eric Hutcherson, Executive Co-Chair, TFMC and EVP and Chief People & Inclusion Officer, UMG

Jeff HarlestonEthiopiaEric Hutcherson

Dr. Menna Demessie, Executive Director, TFMC and Senior Vice President, UMG

Menna Demessie
Alex Boateng, Co-President, 0207 Def Jam, UMG UK
Amaiya Davis, VP Media/Culture Impact & Engagement, Republic Records
Amy Isbell, SVP Public Policy & Government Relations, UMG
Ana Fonseca, VP Business Affairs, UMG Brazil
Annie Imamura, VP Global Communications, UMG
Angelica Merida, VP Business & Legal Affairs, UMPG
Ashley Holmes Senior Manager, Culture & Events, UMG
Bill Evans, EVP Urban Promotions, Capitol Music Group (CMG)
Breana Plunkett, Urban Marketing Coordinator, Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA)
Cara Donatto, EVP Head of Media Strategy, IGA
Caryn Lee, Regional Promotion Manager, IGA
Charles Wadelington, Manager Public Policy & Government Relations, UMG
Chonita Floyd, VP Marketing, Verve Label Group
Courtney Lowery, EVP Media Strategy & Lifestyle, Motown Records
Craig Mannix, VP Urban Music, UMG Canada
EJ Gaines, SVP Marketing, Capitol Christian Music Group
Emmanuelle Cuny, SVP Head of Visual Creative & Production, Motown Records
Evan Lamberg, President, North America, UMPG
James Brown, VP Urban Promotions, Def Jam Recordings
Jamie Krents, President Verve, Impulse!, and Verve Forecast, Verve Label Group
Jennifer Hirsch-Davis, SVP Marketing Administration, Def Jam Recordings
Jeriel Johnson, Senior Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, UMG
Jessica Eason, VP Marketing, CMG
Jermi Thomas, VP A&R, Island Records
Katina Bynum, EVP East Coast Labels, Urban, UME
Kaylen Simmons, Administrative Assistant, IGA
Keinon Johnson, SVP Urban Promotions, IGA
Kristen Reynolds, Director A&R, UMG Nashville
LaTrice Burnette, EVP Def Jam Recordings / President 4th & Broadway
Magda Vives, EVP Legal & Business Affairs, UMG Latin America
Marleny Reyes, EVP Marketing Strategy, Republic Records
Naim McNair, EVP A&R, Def Jam Recordings
Nicole Wyskoarko, EVP, Co-Head of A&R, IGA
Niya Fleming, Associate Manager Business Affairs, East Coast Labels, UMG
Scott Sherman, Coordinator Business & Legal Affairs, East Coast Labels, UMG
Sherri Warren, Promotion Representative Urban Region, IGA
Sheneeza Ally, Executive Assitant Global Marketing, UMG
Stephen Francis, Director Global Finance, UMPG
Veronica Caban, SVP Security Operations & Business Global Security, UMG


Our Youth Task Force for Meaningful Change (YTFMC) is an extension of the TFMC and comprised of a group of entry-level employees from across Universal Music Group to further amplify young voices on issues of social equality and justice.

YTFMC Members:

Niya Fleming (UMG) – Chair
Breana Plunkett (IGA)
Kaylen Simmons (IGA)
Sammi Ryan (Capitol Music Group)
Scott Sherman (UMG)


Drive UMG’s ongoing programs and develop new ones, including in these selected areas.

  • Funding Partners in Social Change

    Both through direct funding and by matching employee contributions, we support groups working for social change.

    • Fund for Justice.

      Through UMG’s All Together Now Foundation, we are funding a range of organizations whose focus includes racial justice, criminal justice reform, legal aid and community support. UMG has provided funding for this phase of investments and will provide additional funding as the Task Force details further plans.

      In addition to our long-standing partners, we have provided grants to the following organizations in the U.S.:

      Academy for Media Arts (LA)
      Advancement Project California
      African American Breast Cancer Alliance Inc.
      African American Civil War Memorial & Museum
      African American Cultural Center
      African American Policy Forum
      African Communities Together Inc.
      Afro Resistance
      Agenda For Children
      Ali Forney Center
      Alliance for Peace Building
      Amber Charter Schools (NY)
      American Association Of University Women Inc.
      Americares India Foundation
      Anti-Recidivism Coalition
      Almost Home
      Asian Americans Advancing Justice
      Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
      Atlanta Music Project
      Atlanta Public Schools Foundation for Get Our Kids Connected
      August Wilson African American Cultural Youth Summer Writing Camp
      Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico
      Baltimore Community Foundation
      BandWith Chicago
      Billie Holiday Theatre
      Black & Pink National
      Black Aids Institute
      Black Alliance for Just Immigration
      Black Alliance for Peace
      Black American Music Foundation Inc.
      Black Art Futures Fund
      Black Boys Code
      Black Emotional & Mental Health Collective (BEAM)
      Black Futures Lab
      Black Girls Movement
      Black Girl Ventures Foundation
      Black Lives Matter via Thousand Currents
      Black Men Heal
      Black Mental Health Alliance
      Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame
      Black United Fund of Illinois Inc.
      Black Women & Girls Fund Baltimore
      Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute
      Black Women’s Health Imperative
      Black Youth Project
      Blessings In a Backpack Inc.
      Books Through Bars
      Boys & Girls Clubs Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Atlantic City, Atlantic City, NJ
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, Houston, TX
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA: Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade – Dade, Miami, FL
      Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
      Farmington Hills, MI
      Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA
      Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, Winterville, NC
      Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley – Arizona, Phoenix, AZ
      Brennan Center for Justice
      Bronx Fire Relief Fund
      Cabarete Sostenible
      California Community Foundation
      Casa For Children of DC
      Cathy Hughes Scholarship Fund
      Center for American Progress
      Center for Native American Youth
      Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
      Chicago CRED Inc.
      Chicago Public Schools Children First Fund
      Children of Promise, NYC
      Chinese For Affirmative Action
      Chinese Progressive Association
      City Year New Orleans
      Coalition of African Americans In the Performing Arts
      Color of Change Educational Fund
      Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
      Congressional Hispanic Caucus Inc.Institute
      Cooperation Jackson
      Council on Black Health
      Crete Academy (LA)
      Crisis Text Line
      Decolonizing the Music Room
      Direct Relief
      Election Protection
      Ember Charter Schools (NY)
      EMERGE Connecticut
      Equal Justice Initiative
      Esperanza United
      Essie Justice Group
      Everyone Eats
      Everytown for Gun Safety
      Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC)
      Families First (Atlanta)
      Feeding America
      FeedMore WNY
      Feeding Florida;Feeding the polls/Migrant Kitchen
      Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN)
      Fresh Air Fund
      Frontline Family Fund
      Girls Make Beats Inc.
      Girls Who Listen Inc.
      Give Directly
      Global Fund for Women
      Greenwood Cultural Center
      Higher Heights Leadership Fund
      Homeboy Industries
      Hope for Haiti
      House of Ruth
      Housing Crisis Center Inc. (Dallas)
      Howard University College of Medicine
      International Medical Corps
      Jackie Robinson Foundation
      Jefferson County Boys & Girls Club, Pine Bluff, AR
      Jubilee Arts
      Kids in Need Foundation
      Kips Bay Boys & Girls Clubs, Bronx, NY
      Latino Commission on AIDS Inc.
      Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Law
      Leadership Conference Education Fund
      Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
      Little Tokyo Center
      Living Legends
      Living Through Giving Foundation
      Los Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs, Los Angeles, CA
      Lotus House Shelter Miami
      Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp
      Loveland Foundation
      Lower Eastside Girls Club (New York)
      Madison Square Boys & Girls Clubs, New York, NY
      Marsha P. Johnson Institute / Social Good Fund
      Martha’s Table Inc. (Washington D.C.)
      Melanin Mommies (Pittsburgh)
      Meharry Medical College
      Mentoring in Medicine
      Menomini You Inc.
      Mental Health Coalition
      Mental Wealth Alliance
      MLK Health & Wellness Community Development Corporation
      Modest Needs
      My Block, My City, Morehouse School of Medicine
      My Hood, Chicago
      NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund Inc.
      National Association of Black Journalists
      National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
      National Black Child Development Institute Inc.
      National Black Justice Coalition
      National Coalition of 100 Black Women
      National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
      National Council of Negro Women
      National Independent Venue Association
      National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
      National LGBT Bar Association
      National Minority Aids Council
      National Medical Association
      National Museum of African American History & Culture
      National Urban League Inc.
      New York City Bar Justice Center
      One Tree Planted
      Partners In Health
      Pencil Foundation
      Phyllis Wheatley YWCA
      Project Home
      Rebuild Foundation
      Ron Brown Scholarship Fund
      Safe Haven Family Shelter
      Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
      Save the Music Foundation
      Search Homeless Houston
      Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana
      Sentencing Project
      Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California
      Silence the Shame Inc.
      Sista Afya
      Social Justice Learning Institute
      Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues
      Son of a Saint (New Orleans)
      Southern Poverty Law Center
      Spread the Vote
      Star C Eviction Relief
      Stop AAPI Hate/Chinese for Affirmative Action
      Student National Medical Association
      Taller Salud
      The African American Breast Cancer Alliance Inc.
      The Anti Recidivism Coalition
      The Audre Lorde Project
      The August Wilson African American Cultural Center Youth Summer Writing Camp
      The Bail Project
      The Barack Obama Foundation
      The Blues Foundation
      The Brotherhood Sister Sol Inc.
      The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts
      The Conscious Kid
      The Crisis Assistance Ministry (Charlotte)
      The Entertainment Industry Foundation/Colin Kaepernick Foundation/Know Your Rights Camp
      The Equal Justice Initiative
      The Fresh Air Fund
      The Hidden Genuis Project
      The Innocence Project
      The King Center
      The Leadership Conference Education Fund
      The Loveland Foundation
      The Lower Eastside Girls Club of NY
      The Marshall Project
      The Mentoring Center Oakland
      The Miami Foundation
      The National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform
      The Obama Foundation’s Leaders: Africa Program
      The Roots of Music
      The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of North & South Carolina, Charlotte, NC
      The Sentencing Project
      The Tamir Rice Foundation (Cleveland)
      The Trevor Project
      Tulsa Community Foundation
      UMOM New Day Centers (Phoenix)
      UN Foundation
      Union League Boys & Girls Clubs, Chicago, IL
      United Community Housing Coalition (Detroit)
      United Negro College Fund
      United Playaz
      United Way of Southeast Louisiana
      US Caribbean Strong
      Vera Institute of Justice
      Volunteers of America – Greater New York
      Vox Collegiate
      We are RISE Inc.
      When We All Vote
      Wilderness Works Inc.
      Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (Milwaukee Freedom Fund)
      Woodcraft Rangers
      and World Central Kitchen
      Youth Speaks
      Zora Neale Hurston Richard Wright Foundation

      Along with the following organizations around the world:

      Colégio Integral Solar Meninos de Luz

      20 Winterbrook
      BAND Gallery
      Black Women in Motion
      The Cee Centre for Young Black Professionals
      NIA Centre for the Arts
      TAIBU Community Health Centre

      Fundación Bello Oriente
      Fundacion Solidaridad y Compromiso

      Ivory Coast
      Village Ki-Yi

      Santuri East Africa

      Fundación Origen – Pro Ayuda a la Mujer Origen A.C.

      The R.E.A.C.H Nigeria

      Federação Portuguesa dos Bancos Alimentares Contra a Fome (Food Bank)

      Puerto Rico
      Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico
      ESCAPE, Centro de Fortalecimiento Familiar
      Taller Salud


      FESBAL (Federación Española de Bancos de Alimentos) (Food Bank)

      South Africa
      Angel Foundation for Musicians
      African Presidential Leadership Center
      National School for the Arts (Johannesburg)

      United Kingdom
      African Caribbean Leukemia Trust (ACLT)
      Decca Bursary
      Music Managers Forum Ltd
      Pickni Uniforms
      Small Green Shoots

      *This list will be updated on an ongoing basis.

    • Fund for Employee Action.

      Through our All Together Now program, UMG matches employees’ qualifying contributions to non-profit groups. Among the top recent recipients of our matching fund program are: ACLU; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Black Lives Matter Fund; King Center for Nonviolent Social Change; Bail Project, Inc.; Southern Poverty Law Center; Minnesota Freedom Fund; Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Northside Achievement Zone; and Race Forward.

  • Making Change Within UMG and the Music Community

    We work to achieve greater diversity and inclusion within our own company and community.

    • Diversifying Our Employee Population

      Black Label’s Black History Month speed networking event held at Capitol Records

      In order to recruit, retain and promote a more diverse workforce, we launched the UMG Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team, which partnered with Recruitment, to lead employee diversity & inclusion efforts. Activities have included: D&I training of hiring managers with intentional education addressing unconscious bias; recruiting partnerships at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs); Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), such as our Black Label Group, to foster community, cultural awareness and inclusion; diverse networking events, such as REVOLT, AFRO Tech & Diversity Reboot Summit; and much, much more.

      Click HERE to join our team!

    • UPLIFT Mentorship Program

      As part of our ongoing efforts to expand our diversity and inclusion programing and initiatives, UMG’s Black Label, the employee resource group celebrating Black culture, in partnership with the TFMC, unveiled the UPLIFT Mentorship Program. UPLIFT was created to foster meaningful and impactful connections within UMG’s Black community, working to build personal and professional development of entry and mid-level employees.

      Over the course of one year, mentees will participate in one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, networking sessions and speed learning activities in addition to receiving articles, books and helpful resources to continue their personal growth.

    • Partnering with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

      UMG is a founding partner of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Since 2017, the initiative has worked to create measurable change for the representation of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups across all areas of the music business.

      The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released its first study on the music business in 2018, which provided needed insight into inclusion in the recording industry. Since then, the Initiative has released additional research exploring disparities in country and Latin genres, and illuminated the barriers facing female songwriters and producers. The Initiative has partnered with She Is The Music, to provide data on women in the music industry and insight into industry solutions. Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative’s Founder, also served on the Recording Academy Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion, whose equity-based focus has resulted in two years of increased nominations for female artists in key Grammy categories.

      On June 26th, we announced the expansion of our partnership with Annenberg to conduct new research – examining major and independent music companies, labels and publishers, digital platforms, radio and live concert companies as well as artists’ teams, focusing on managers, agents, attorneys and publicists – to determine the extent to which men and women of color are excluded from music’s leadership ranks. With this information in hand, Annenberg will issue a report, establishing goals and providing recommendations on how the music industry can address these disparities.

  • Making Change Through Legislation and Law

    We work to help achieve change by actively engaging in civic affairs through civic engagement and voting participation activities.

    • Legal Volunteer Action Center.

      Organizing UMG legal staff to do pro bono legal work for social justice and criminal justice reform organizations.

    • Voter Mobilization and Education.

      We support and conduct voter education, registration and mobilization drives, including by:

      • Partnering with organizations such as When We All Vote, HeadCount, Rock the Vote, Voto Latino and I Am A Voter;

      • Creating UMG’s own USE YOUR VOICE voter resource campaign, created in partnership with the TFMC, which launched 75 days out from the 2020 U.S. general election on August 20th. Activities included:

        • #HourofAction!Use Your Voice

          As part of our work with When We All Vote, UMG’s U.S. employees, artists and partners paused normal work activities to engage in voter education and mobilization – including outreach to friends, family and social media followers.

        • Virtual Canvassing Events.

          UMG’s °1824 college marketing division led powerful virtual vote canvassing events with DJ’s and special guests encouraging the more than 150 employees who participated to contact roughly 200,000 potential voters across the country with registration and voter information.

        • Artist Videos with Voter Education.

          In conjunction with When We All Vote, the TFMC created voter education videos featuring UMG artists such as 2 Chainz.

        • Pull Up To The Polls.

          In honor of those throughout our history who fought to win and defend our right to vote, we launched an initiative in partnership with the National Urban League and the Voto Latino Foundation to provide voters rides to the polls on Election Day.

    • Legislative Advocacy.Section 50-A

      We educate employees on social justice and criminal justice reform efforts and encourage our music community to advocate for priority legislation, such as the “Justice in Policing Act” (see here) and the repeal of New York’s Section 50-A (see here).

    • Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.

      Since 2017, UMG has actively participated in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference both to celebrate and lead conversations that are important to the Black Community. Examples include: Events in 2017 with Senator Kamala Harris; 2018 with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY) (including “Artists, Activism and the Criminal Justice System” with UMG’s Jeff Harleston); and 2019 with Rep. Brenda Lawrence and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (including “What’s Going On” with former Motown Chairman & CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam).

      2017 CBC Reception

      2017 CBC Reception
      From L-R: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Harleston, and Kevin Ross

      2018 Criminal Justice Reform Panel

      2018 Criminal Justice Reform Panel
      From L-R: Van Jones, Meek Mill, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Dr. Michelle Scott, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and Jeff Harleston

      Meek Mill Fans

      2018 Criminal Justice Reform Panel
      Meek Mill connecting with the audience after panel

      2019 CBC Reception Group

      2019 CBC Reception Group
      From L-R: Danielle Belton, BJ the Chicago Kid, Ethiopia Habtemariam , Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Savanah Leaf

In 2020, UMG and the TFMC organized a series of special programs, discussions and opportunities to celebrate the 50th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference. The series of events included an interactive recruitment workshop with a competition to win interviews with senior UMG hiring executives, as well as the opportunity for college students to secure 15 year-long mentorship opportunities with a UMG executive. Other events included The Soundtrack to Change: A Discussion on Music and the Social Justice Movement hosted by Republic Records’ Action Committee; Black and Blue, a conversation on the persistent police brutality in Black and Brown communities hosted by Def Jam Forward with special guest Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY); Music Mavens, a discussion among black female senior executives across UMG with special guest Rep. Robin Kelly (IL); and The Art of Black Entrepreneurship & Brand Building, a panel hosted by IGA with special guest Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY).

Educational Programming and Constructive Dialogue

We curate compelling educational programming with notable guest speakers to promote dialogue and inclusion within the UMG community.

  • Employee Town Hall Meetings with Guest Speakers

    We support the company’s ongoing series of employee Town Hall Meetings with topical speakers to engage the company in valuable dialogue about our society and current events. Speakers have included: former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on encouraging collective civic engagement; U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY) about what’s going on in America today and what Congress might do about it; former White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett about voting in 2020; and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on the city’s history of police and race relations, to name a few.

    In consultation with the TFMC, UMG Human Resources conducts several speaker series throughout the year, including “The Belonging Table,” a series on diversity and inclusion, and “Semicolon Sessions” – a two-part series over two weeks, including a session on mental health issues catered towards communities of color that featured a clinical therapist and two artists. Since 2019, Human Resources has held close to 50 employee events, UMG’s labels have also organized programming for employees, such as Island Records’ special Juneteenth discussion on wellness and how Black music has shaped America’s culture.

    From L-R: Jeff Harleston and Eric Holder

    Clockwise from Top Left: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Ethiopia Habtemariam, and Jeff Harleston

    In the UK, UMG celebrated Black History the month of October 2020 with an extensive schedule of insightful talks, panels, screenings, and much more. Topics include Afrofuturism, the history of Black Britain, the experiences of the Black LGBTQI+ community, the legacy of Island Records and much more. Produced by the UK Task Force for Meaningful Change and Universal Music’s Black Calendar Committee, which was born out of the Task Force to create insightful and explorative moments that celebrate Black culture all year round.

  • College Speaker Series on Careers in Music

    UMG’s college marketing division, 1824, launched its UMG Master Class series in 2017 highlighting the inner workings of a career in music for minority college students, with a special focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 1824 kicked off its first event at New York University with Pusha T, UMG’s SVP of A&R Steven Victor and Ebony Magazine. Since then, it’s held sessions at Howard University, Atlanta University Center – Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta and Hampton University, among others. A 2018 session at USC featured former Motown Chairman & CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam, and singer-songwriters BJ the Chicago Kid and Sebastian Kole.

  • HBCU Internship Program

    The TFMC established UMG’s Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) summer Internship program for HBCU students and recent graduates, an industry-first partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Named for America’s first African American Supreme Court justice, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College community.

    Kicking off in summer of 2021, the program offers HBCU students paid internships across UMG’s labels and business units. In addition to providing financial support to defray interns’ travel and housing expenses, the internships will develop a pipeline of Black talent for future placement in permanent positions across UMG system and give Black music executives meaningful opportunities to help develop future music leaders.

  • National School of the Arts (South Africa)

    One of that country’s foremost arts education institutions, National School of the Arts (NSA) is a co-educational public school that has produced some of South Africa’s finest talent across the fields of art, dance, drama and music.

    The landmark partnership includes the newly renamed “Universal Music Department,” which supports 165 students from Uganda, Zimbabwe, DRC and South Africa, and provides hands-on support from the global music company in the form of resources, classes, industry participation and internships.

    • Bridging the Digital Divide

      To help provide “digital equity,” TFMC has teamed up with schools, districts, educational nonprofits and Boys & Girls Clubs of America throughout the U.S. to bridge the digital divide through funding for WiFi hotspots, laptops and other essential remote learning accessories for students in need.

      Undertaken with our partners Blacksmith, Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment, Dreamville, Grade A Productions, Heavy Group, Hikari Ultra, LVRN, Quality Control, Since the 80’s, South Coast Music Group, Wicked Awesome, XO and Young Money Entertainment, this initiative is proud to support students within 19 Boys & Girls club organizations, 5 School districts, & 5 Charter schools across America.

    • Amplifying Artist Voices

      The TFMC helps to distribute and amplify artists’ messages on civic engagement and voter mobilization. In this video, UMG artist Stevie Wonder urges fans to get out the vote and engage actively to help make positive change for our communities and nation.

  • Promoting Black History

    In 2021, Motown Records announced the relaunch of its groundbreaking Black Forum label in collaboration with Motown Museum. Black Forum, which was founded by Motown Corporation and Mr. Berry Gordy in 1971, is world-renowned as a label home for Black spoken-word artists. The partnership will provide a platform for a new generation of writers, thinkers and poets, sparking candid conversation to inspire the next generation of Black history makers through podcasts, community forums, digital initiatives and Motown Museum events and programs. In addition, Black Label will re-issue six of the historic albums on which its legacy was established, beginning with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam.

    The announcement follows Motown Records’ celebration of Dr. King’s legacy in the Fall of 2020, where the label released its recording of the 1963 Great March on Washington album digitally for the first time. In tribute to this historic event, Motown launched several digital initiatives, including a sharable video from the Great March on Washington featuring future congressman John Lewis; and long unseen footage of Coretta Scott King, Dr King’s widow, on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ethiopia Habtemariam, former Chairman & CEO of Motown Records, spoke with Elvis Mitchell – host of KCRW’s “The Treatment” – about what Dr. King’s speeches mean to her. View their conversation here.

    Black Forum label logo

    The Great March on Washington


  • Partnering with Leading Cultural Institutions

    UMG partnered with London’s TATE Modern (2017) and the Brooklyn Museum (2018) on their exhibit “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963-1983.” The exhibition spotlighted era-defining works of painting, sculpture, photography, and performance produced during the decline of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Black Power. In New York, Verve Label Group created this playlist. In London, Darcus Beese, President & CEO, Island Records curated a special Music of Black Power playlist, illustrating how music was critical to this movement. You can listen to it here.

    Soul of a Nation Spotify PlaylistMusic of Black Power Spotify Playlist
  • Teaching Students in Local Communities about MusicBonus Tracks

    We work with local programs in our communities to teach high school students about music. In New York, for example, we have participated in career fairs hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Originally created through a partnership between Compton Unified School District and Capitol Music Group (CMG) at Dominguez High School in Los Angeles, the Bonus Tracks program teaches high school students about careers within the music industry through in-person seminars led by CMG executives. Bonus Tracks has since expanded to schools in Nashville (in partnership with Capitol Christian Music Group) and Atlanta (working with Quality Control).

    Bonus Tracks not only expands the students’ knowledge and professional development, but also opens doors to careers and networks to which they may not have otherwise had access. The ultimate goal is to increase opportunity and diversity in executive ranks in the music industry – and beyond. Through its work with the program, Capitol also established an annual college scholarship program for students at Dominguez High School.

For general inquiries about the Task Force for Meaningful Change, please email