Inside Sony Music
- Local Impact Reports: SMG Asia Social Justice Task Force on Making a Difference
- Oct 25, 2022
This article is part of our Local Impact Report series: a collection of informal catchup-ups where we connect with different members of Social Justice Task Forces within Sony Music. These Task Forces were formed after launching our $100 million Global Social Justice Fund in 2020, to ensure each region in which Sony Music operates is successfully shepherding funds in their area.
More than two years since the inception of Sony Music Group’s (SMG) $100 million Global Social Justice Fund (GSJF), a commitment has already been made to support over 400 organizations across 7 regions and 60 countries.
This year, the GSJF expanded its work in Asia, and has recently made donations to three well-established non-profit organizations in the region – Milaan Foundation in India, Modern Women’s Foundation in Taiwan, and SPARK! Philippines.
We spoke to our SMG Asia Social Justice Fund Task Force recently to learn more about how they are collaborating with local communities and grassroots organizations to help tackle social injustice across Asia.
Abhipray Agrawal, who works as a Manager on Sony Music’s analytics team in India, has been a pivotal part of the social justice fund in India, helping identify one of the key organizations who have benefited from this year’s funding.
“We, as a committee, all have a vested interest in philanthropy, independent of our roles within the organization,” says Agrawal. “In our personal capacities, many of us volunteer with various non-profits and charities that support a variety of causes – ranging from environmental conservation and animal welfare to female empowerment and displaced youth. When it was announced that the fund would be expanded to impact communities in Asia, we took on the task to identify organizations that addressed issues that are most pressing in the region and that are closest to our own mission here at Sony Music.”
One of these organizations that have recently received funding is the Milaan Foundation, an India-based non-profit that collaborates with women to impart skills, develop knowledge, and foster safe environments.
“Every girl deserves a life of dignity, opportunity and access to education,” said Dhirendra Pratap Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Milaan Foundation on receiving the funding. “We envision an inclusive and equal world, where every girl is educated, healthy and safe to explore her full potential. Thanks to funding from Sony Music Group’s Global Social Justice Fund, we can fast-track the education and empowerment of adolescent girls, cultivating our next generation of female leaders. We are delighted to work hand in hand with Sony Music Entertainment India to further our mission to impart young women with the knowledge, skills, and the social environment needed to pursue their aspirations”
The task force also, purposely, seeks to ensure that SMG supports historically excluded communities across the region. For this tranche of funding allocated for Asia, the focus is on female empowerment and gender equality across the region.
“We wish to leverage music as a platform to uplift marginalized communities of women in Asia,” said Kevin Foo, General Manager of Sony Music Taiwan and MD of RCA Greater China. “Women in Asia face a multitude of challenges, including lack of access to education and healthcare, being subject to domestic and sexual abuse and underpromotion of rights’ issues. We have the benefit at SMG to leverage our collective strengths – in our case, music, culture, and creativity – to empower them with the tools needed to spark change, raise awareness about the most pressing issues they face and uplift their communities.”
How does the task force collectively decide which organizations to partner with and donate to? It is a meticulous process.
“Asia is home to many developing countries, within which there are communities of women who are neglected and underserved. Numerous organizations are already present in those communities addressing these issues and it is no easy task picking who we want to collaborate with. We seek to work with like-minded organizations that share the same values and principles as us. SMG makes available its stable of resources, such as our songwriters and sound engineers, creative technologies, and facilities like recording studios. We welcome these organizations to make full use of these resources and are also open to the idea of co-ideating solutions. These can include anything, from a creative arts curriculum or a talent show to skills enrichment or job placements,” said Shawn Paltiel, Vice President, Digital Partner Development, Sony Music Asia.
Looking ahead, Sony Music Asia continues to forge ahead in its philanthropic journey. “We seek to expand the scope of the GSJF to cover other issues that affect communities across Asia,” said Taeky Kim, Director, Digital Analytics from Sony Music Entertainment Korea. “We will work relentlessly over the upcoming months to identify the most pertinent issues, and like-minded partners we wish to collaborate with to tackle them. Our commitment to Asia remains steadfast.”