UMG Unveils Special Programming, Mentorship Opportunities for Black Creatives & Students

The initiative is the company’s fourth since 2017 celebrating the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.

Universal Music Group and its recently-established Task Force for Meaningful Change are celebrating the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference (CBC ALC) this year with a series of special programs, discussions and opportunities.

The celebrations kicked off last week with a trio of events, including the °1824 Mentorship Initiative, which selected 15 young Black creatives and college students for a new UMG mentorship program; an interactive recruitment workshop with UMG’s diversity & inclusion team; and a panel entitled “The Soundtrack to Change: A Discussion on Music and the Social Justice Movement” mounted by Republic Records’ Action Committee.

Other events and initiatives going forward will include “Black and Blue,” a live conversation on police brutality against Black and Brown communities hosted by Def Jam Forward with special guest Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) along with Def Jam artists Chuck D, Jadakiss and Bobby Sessions; “Music Mavens,” a discussion between women leaders across UMG with special guest Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL); and “The Art of Black Entrepreneurship & Brand Building,” a panel hosted by IGA with special guest Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY).

This is the fourth year UMG has celebrated the CBC Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. Past years have included appearances by politicians, executives and artists including U.S. Senator and current Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, Meek Mill, BJ the Chicago Kid and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-NY).

Unveiled in the wake of massive nationwide protests that sprang up following the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, the Task Force for Meaningful Change was designed to review UMG’s commitment to addressing issues of equality and inclusion inside the company and beyond. UMG simultaneously unveiled a $25 million “Change Fund” designated to further racial justice in multiple arenas.

You can find more information on forthcoming events below.


Presented by Def Jam Forward, Black and Blue is a LIVE conversation on the persistent police brutality in Black and Brown communities. Featuring special guest, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), along with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Retired NYPD officer Ronald Colter, former NBA player and community activist Royce White and Def Jam Recordings artists Chuck D, Jadakiss and Bobby Sessions, the panel tackles the issue of generational over-policing and begs the question “What can be done?”


From breaking the next big artist to orchestrating pivotal business decisions, these women are defining how to be a boss. Featuring special guest Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), the group will discuss what it means to be a woman of color in a position of power in the music industry and how we all can foster future generations of female executives. Join leading music executives Ethiopia Habtemariam (President, Motown Records, and EVP, Capitol Music Group), LaTrice Burnette (EVP GM, Island Records), Marleny Reyes (SVP, Marketing, Republic Records), Natina Nimene (SVP, Urban Promotion & Artist Relations, Def Jam Recordings) and Nicole Wyskoarko (EVP Urban Operations, Interscope Records) for this engaging session on female empowerment.

The Art of Black Entrepreneurship & Brand Building | Oct. 3, 1:45PM ET | CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR CBC ALC AND TUNE IN

Navigating entrepreneurship and building a brand can be challenging in its own right. Being Black and launching your own venture or marketing your work to others creates additional barriers that makes the pursuit of the ‘American dream’ that much more complex. Presented by Interscope, Geffen and A&M Records, please join special guest Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and panelists from IGA’s Joint Venture Label Partners, LVRN and Dreamville, for a breakout session on ways to foster Black entrepreneurial success and strengthen brand building.

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