Three-day Hybrid Event Will Feature Panels, Performances, and Networking Opportunities for Leaders in the Social Justice, Philanthropic, and Entertainment Sectors
The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) today announced its second annual Grantee Convening event, Music & Movement: The Global Cypher. From October 11-13, the Fund’s 52 current grantee partners will come together for a multi-sensory program, highlighting the intersection of culture and movement-building. It will feature dynamic performances, strategy talks, and a number of networking and community-building opportunities.
Participating grantee partners include the Studio Museum of Harlem, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, SPARK, Black Lives in Music, JULIAN, Grantmakers for Girls of Color, the Highlander Research and Education Center, Gender Amplified, Brotherhood SisterSol, The Brazil Human Rights Fund, and more.
“At the nexus of culture and systems change is an opportunity to shape our vision for the future, and this year’s convening will focus on empowering grantees to exchange their visions, discuss the parallels between the industry and movement-building, and how we can leverage this synergy to advance and sustain social change,” said Lorelei Williams, Executive Director of the WMG/BFF SJF. “Our inaugural convening sparked fruitful conversations, and we are thrilled to continue creating a space for social justice organizations to extend their connections and plant seeds for new partnerships. This year, we are honoring the 50th anniversary of hip-hop by embodying the essence of the cypher and its power to inspire creative experimentation, innovation, and narrative transformation, elements that are also relevant to movement-building.”
This year’s Music & Movement convening includes panel discussions featuring diverse speakers, networking opportunities, and wellness sessions guided by the Wind & the Warrior. Gender Amplified and Riggs Morales, WMG/BFF SJF Board Member and Atlantic Records SVP of A&R and Artist Development, are teaming up to curate a collaborative studio session called CTRL Room Camp. This camp is specifically designed for young artists and producers who have received training from WMG/BFF SJF grantee partners. During the one-day session, the group will record a track together and then perform the song at a reception at the Atlantic Records soundstage on October 12. This year’s participants are:
- Aisha June (Singer, Songwriter, Rapper) – Howard University Warner Music | Blavatnik Center for Music Business
- Ali Muhammad (Producer, Beatmaker, Instrumentalist) – Project Level
- Sanni Sinitiat Omodolapo (Vocalist) – The Sarz Academy
- Luke Bacchus (Producer, Instrumentalist) – Black Lives in Music
- Juan Daniel Landazuri Segura (Instrumentalist) – Manos Visibles
Other agenda highlights include:
Driving Access & Equity in the Music Industry
This session will feature Grammy Award-winning artist and producer and Chairman of Spring 2023 grantee partner We Are Family Foundation, Nile Rodgers, along with grantee partners that are part of the music pipeline from the U.S., U.K., and Nigeria. It will explore efforts to address systemic inequities and unite organizations and musicians to create an inclusive and diverse music industry. Music executives of color will also share their journeys of overcoming barriers to achieve success in the sector.
The Wisdom of the Cypher
Celebrating 50 years of hip-hop, award-winning artist, speaker, and hip-hop Global Ambassador Toni Blackman will lead a lyrical journey to elevate the wisdom of the cypher and its synergies with social change and movement-building. The session will be livestreamed via Warner Music Group’s YouTube channel.
Music x Movement: Building Power for Narrative Change
This session aims to empower artists, songwriters, A&R execs, and product managers with ideas that inspire culture change. The panel will also provide an opportunity for social justice leaders and their organizations to explore ways to partner with music industry creatives to amplify their message and mobilize their constituencies. The session will be livestreamed via Warner Music Group’s YouTube channel.
Liberated Futures: Visioning 2030
This session will amplify the voices of the next generation of social justice organizers: young people leading campaigns for racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal justice reform, and reproductive justice in the U.S. and internationally. The session will be livestreamed via Warner Music Group’s YouTube channel.
The convening will also provide grantee site visits and volunteer opportunities for WMG staff and artists to visit SJF grantees in NYC to connect first-hand with their powerful programming.
Reception at Atlantic Records
This private reception, DJ’d by grantee partner Girls Make Beats, will feature special performances by participants of the CTRL Room Camp and Atlantic Records artist KAMAUU.