A pledge like this is no substitute for the institutional change we need or a long-overdue reckoning with our history. But it is a concrete first step. We hope that from here we can build deeper and stronger commitments, and new and powerful networks that will help us transform our industries.
Our aim is to center Black musicians and industry professionals while also supporting Indigenous people and people of color who have been excluded from these networks too.
If you are a musician or industry professional with access, resources, and opportunities that you can pledge to support this initiative, please fill out this form and choose the pledges(s) that best apply to your work. Signers who are BIPOC can also pledge to offer their support as a mentor.
If you are a BIPOC musician or industry professional interested in the resources and opportunities that have been pledged, please register here to view the database!
Singer-songwriter and pianist Frankie Staton founded the Black Country Music Association to push for this kind of change in 1997. “People need to know that we have been here all along,” she said. We hope that with this initiative, we can continue to work toward her vision.
The #ChangeCountry pledge is a project of Country Music Against White Supremacy (CMAWS), a group of BIPOC and white musicians, fans, and industry professionals that began meeting in 2019. CMAWS is committed to both fighting white supremacy within country music and using country music to fight white supremacy.