About the BDRB Declaration
To build an inclusive Canadian music and entertainment industry, it is critical to address the anti-Black racism that exists in the systems and working environments within which Black music professionals and creatives operate.
The eradication of anti-Black racism requires a commitment to anti-racism - an active, conscious and ongoing effort to work against racism: to acknowledge; to atone; to create mechanisms that dismantle systems that perpetuate racism, and to create actionable solutions with measurable outcomes.
Efforts will look different for solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, organizations, corporations and government institutions. Thus, it is important to understand that an inability to execute all commitments listed herein, does not constitute failure. Rather, starting points for signatories will differ, with efforts progressing over time: start where you are, and work towards the goal.
BDRB (Breaking Down Racial Barriers) with partners CIMA (The Canadian Independent Music Association) and ADVANCE, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective, hereby call upon the individuals, organizations, small businesses, corporations and government institutions of the music industry to play a role in eradicating anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry.
TO THESE ENDS, WE HEREBY COMMIT TO:
1. THE CREATION OF ANTI-BLACK RACISM POLICIES AND TRAINING Dismantling anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry will require the re-envisioning of all foundational policies, procedures and practices through a lens of anti-Black racism.
2. COLLECTION, TRACKING AND PUBLIC REPORTING OF RACE-BASED DATA AND KEY METRICS The lack of race-based data perpetuates systemic racism. To work towards diminishing, and ultimately eliminating systemic and anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry and reducing racial disparities, we commit to the collection of available data on workplace diversity and key metrics including the racial breakdown of staff and employees at all levels.
3. REPRESENTATION: FROM THE MAILROOM TO THE BOARDROOM For decades, the music industry and its sectors have profited off of the intellectual property of Black creatives and professionals. Increasing representation and diversity throughout the entire industry is key to creating equity in the Canadian music industry.
4. PAY EQUITY, FAIR TREATMENT AND SUPPORT Despite a lack of empirical data to substantiate the disparity in the wages of Canadian Black music professionals versus their peers (especially Black women), studies have shown that closing pay gaps within industries results in increased productivity and profit.
5. SHARING OF BEST PRACTICES The BDRB Declaration signifies our collective commitment to the eradication of anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry. We commit to sharing best practices and initiatives which promote anti-racism & inclusion throughout the industry.
6. PARTNERSHIPS & INVESTMENT We recognize that eradicating racism will take a collective effort. The creation of partnerships and investments in/with the Black community is a first and critical step in this process.
7. MOVING BEYOND PERFORMANCE This declaration should not be seen as a box-checking exercise. Eradicating anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry will require more than performative action.
DECLARE YOUR COMMITMENT:
Sign the BDRB Declaration to add your name to the growing list of Canadian companies, corporations, organizations and government institutions fighting anti-Black racism.
SHARE AND INFLUENCE: Spread the word about the BDRB Declaration and your commitment to change on social media.
WATCH: the 10-part CIMA ‘Breaking Down Racial Barriers’ roundtable discussion series (August-October 2020) to gain an understanding of issues faced by Black music professionals nationally.
READ: the forthcoming detailed BDRB (Breaking Down Racial Barriers) Report on anti-Black racism in the Canadian music & entertainment industry