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LCR Music Board’s Black Lives Matter Manifesto

Liverpool City Region Music Board is proud to share its Black Lives Matter Manifesto (Download the PDF here: Black Lives Matter – LCRMB Manifesto 2021)

Created in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement and born from the Board’s dedication to diversity and inclusivity, the manifesto details our Board’s commitment to acknowledging the contribution of Black people to the local music scene, past and present, while also improving the support and incorporation of Black music professionals, Black-led organisations and their work, into Liverpool City Region’s music and music culture eco-system.

Following the recent recruitment of eight new Music Board members, the Manifesto’s action to ‘increase the cultural mix of Board membership and sub-groups, with a commitment to a minimum of 30% Black members has now been accomplished. And we, as a Board, are well underway in developing a specific Black Lives Matter sub-group.

LCR Board member and Chair of the new BLM sub-group, Jennifer John, who played a significant role in the creation of the Manifesto, said: “As a black female music industry professional, I know first-hand about the challenges that exist when trying to progress in an industry thats historically not as inclusive as it should be.

As a Music Board we aim to be proactive in the strategic development of a sustainable infrastructure that includes and supports black artists working within the sector across all music genres.

The BLM sub-group is a collaboration of music industry professionals and creatives who have a wealth of experience and a cross-section of skills and experience that we can all share and learn from. This is an invaluable opportunity to redress imbalance and create a sustainable and dynamic sector that the City Region can be extremely proud of.”

LCR Music Board, and specifically its BLM sub-group, is contributing to a research project led by The University of Liverpool, which focuses on the challenges and needs of Black music creatives and industry professionals, as well as those specialising in Black music, based in the Liverpool City Region. This research project will generate key recommendations that will inform actions to be driven into policy and practice by the LCR Music Board.

Going forward the LCR Music Board aims to consciously ensure that the city’s Black music scene is fairly represented in all marketing materials that sell the city as a music tourism destination. And the Board has made the decision to no longer use the acronym ‘BAME’, nor will it use “urban” as the generic term to describe music of Black origin.

Yaw Owusu, LCR Board member and member of the BLM sub-group, said: “This commitment to real change is long overdue. The forming and empowerment of the Sub-Group will be an effective way to progress the manifesto commitments, as a body that can, and will, make sure there are fair, equal and equitable opportunities for so many, who due to their ethnicity have not had those opportunities in the past. We will also work with organisations and individuals who understand that real inclusion will allow us all to benefit from a richer and stronger music ecology in the region”.

Jennifer John added: If Liverpool is to be an authentic city of music then it needs to reflect the multi-culturalism and more specifically the contribution that Black people and Black music has made and continues to make, and the corresponding wealth of music, culture and business that results from this. We believe that this is also core to being a UNESCO City of Music in the 21st Century.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “From pioneering artists to our legendary grassroots scene, music is an indelible part of our region’s DNA; something that we are famous for across the world.

I set up the Liverpool City Region Music Board to protect our musical heritage, promote its exciting present and shape its future. But part of shaping the future has to be about coming to terms with our past. That means honouring the contribution of black people to the industry and taking action to tackle the structural inequalities that still exist.

We have worked closely with communities across our region to develop and launched our Race Equality Programme last year, have taken action to improve representation on the LCR Music Board and I’m really proud to see how they have come together to produce the Black Lives Matter Manifesto.”

The LCR Music Board Black Lives Matter Manifesto has been decorated in bespoke artwork commissioned by local artist, Sumuyya Khader. She recently set up Granby Press, a community-based organisation with a focus on printed material and design while also developing an archive of black culture & history in the L8 area of Liverpool.

The LCR Music Board BLM Manifesto can be downloaded here: Black Lives Matter – LCRMB Manifesto 2021