Statement Against Community Violence and Commitment to Equity and Inclusion
As the not-for-profit national trade association representing the English-language, Canadian-owned sector of the music industry; community and advocacy is central to what we do. Our membership consists of Canadian-owned companies, artist-entrepreneurs, individual contractors and solo self-employed businesses involved in every aspect of the music, sound recording and music-related industries. We acknowledge that our strength lies in the diversity of our membership community, and we recognize that many in our community are not safe and continue to experience significant harm and violence. The Canadian Independent Music Association is committed to using our platform, expertise, and influence to create change around equity and inclusion.
We denounce violence, intolerance and discrimination of any kind that is based on any form of oppression and targets community members because of their identity. We denounce all forms of racial discrimination, misogyny, discrimination against gender and sexual expression, and disability discrimination. As a national organization, we particularly acknowledge and denounce discrimination against the Indigenous community, including a legacy of genocide, ongoing and targeted anti-Indigenous systemic violence, and the disproportionately higher rate of death among Indigenous community members. CIMA also denounces all forms of racial discrimination against the Black community, including ongoing and targeted Anti-Black systemic violence, incarceration, and the disturbingly high number of shootings involving Black community members. We acknowledge and decry the sharp increase of violent attacks and discrimination towards Asian, South Asian, Muslim, and Jewish communities. While discussion about violence towards these communities, and other marginalized communities, has increased during the pandemic, these issues are longstanding and global.
CIMA affirms its commitment to fight racism, marginalization, and all forms of discrimination. As part of these commitments, we are offering Anti-Oppressive Communication training to all members to foster meaningful learning about oppression, discrimination, its impact, and ways to recognize bias and communicate inclusively. We are creating safer spaces for Racialized CIMA members and independent music artists to develop skills to identify and cope with racial trauma. In 2020, we created a permanent Executive Vice-Chair position on CIMA’s Board of Directors to lead our newly established Equity Committee. CIMA’s Equity Committee is made up of CIMA members representative of a diversity of lived experiences boasting expertise as leading figures in the Canadian independent music industry. The CIMA Equity Committee is also actively recruiting new members to share their voices, ideas, and skills. We strongly encourage that you follow our social media profiles and subscribe to our newsletter to keep abreast of our ongoing Equity Committee initiatives and programs.
CIMA commits to continuing to take action to understand and address systemic barriers in all forms. This statement highlights some of the actions we are taking but we recognize it cannot stop here and there will be more work to do. We are committed to ongoing learning, change, and accountability. We welcome all suggestions and recommendations from our members and the community around how to do better. We fully recognize our responsibility to seek out ways to do our part to make the world more accessible and inclusive for the communities we represent.
What we can do right now
- Speak out, stand up and fight against stereotypes, racism and discrimination and acknowledge how race-based violence has impacted oppressed communities not only now but throughout history
- Support organizations and causes that uplift and empower marginalized individuals and communities. Focus on those that are directly working with marginalized neighbourhoods and communities
- Learn about cultures that are not apart of your lived experience. Explore the rich cultural history, knowledge, and ways of living of oppressed communities and the ways in which systems of oppression have played a role.
- Buy from businesses and support organizations owned and operated by marginalized community members
- Amplify creators, educators, and activists from oppressed communities. This can be cause specific related work of just their general content
- Celebrate the accomplishments of marginalized individuals and communities. As well as their histories, cultures, joy, diversity, and beauty
CIMA acknowledges that equity-building is an ongoing commitment and will review this living document on an annual basis to ensure that we are actively and effectively championing a safe and inclusive music industry. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns related to this statement, please contact Matthew Badoe, CIMA’s Equity Committee Staff Liaison.