Inside Sony Music
- Meet 9 LGBTQ+ Orgs Making a Difference
- Jun 25, 2021
This Pride month and year-round, Sony Music Group (SMG) is a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ equality, visibility, and rights — at our company and across the globe. Through our Global Social Justice Fund, SMG intentionally supports grassroots organizations focused on addressing localized issues and promoting racial and LGBTQ+ equality around the world. These grassroots organizations work at a community-level to identify challenges and help develop and implement sustainable solutions.
In recognition of PRIDE month, SMG sat down with some of the organizations we’ve supported through the Global Social Justice Fund to learn more about how they’re uplifting and advancing LGBTQ+ communities
Black & Pink is on a mission to end anti-LGBTQIA2S+ violence, medical racism, and eradicate all carceral systems. Uniting LGBTQIA2S+ prisoners and “free world” allies, the organization works toward abolishing the criminal punishment system. Black & Pink shared some of the unconscionable stats motivating their work: People living with HIV are five to seven times more likely to be incarcerated than the general population, and 85% of LGBTQ+ people experience solitary confinement. Black & Pink gives current and formerly incarcerated people access to resources they need to be healthy, safe, and happy within their communities.
“We envision a time where all of our members are free from the clutches of the prison industrial complex and have access to all the things they need to access health and safety within their communities.”
Sony Music Group is also proud to partner with the Transgender Law Center (TLC). TLC shared information and data about ongoing attacks, harassment, and discrimination faced by the global trans community—with Black and Brown trans people facing a disproportionate violence — in addition to inadequate access to basic necessities. Most recently, TLC conducted a report on the Roots of Anti-Trans Violence to identify the root causes of anti-trans violence and found institutions – such as the government, ICE, the police – trap trans people into a life where they are vulnerable to homicide. These are systemic and institutional issues. Understanding that trans leaders and their communities know their own needs, TLC offers trans individuals leadership development, narrative change, and movement building programs, alongside cutting-edge litigation, and advocacy strategies.
David Johns from the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) shared how the organization focuses on federal policy to strive for racial equity and LGBTQ+ equality. Since 2003, NBJC has been dedicated to ending racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ+/SGL(same gender loving) bias and stigma. NBJC supports Black individuals, families, and communities; calls for change in conversations with political leaders; and supports peaceful protests for equal rights and opportunities for building collective power—all helping to usher in a new era of awareness and opportunity in the global movement for Black lives.
The Ally Coalition (TAC), founded by Jack Antonoff and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff, is committed to bettering the lives of LGBTQ youth. TAC empowers the creative community and fans worldwide to be engaged allies. During tours with high profile musicians, through social media campaigns, and via collaborative partnerships, TAC supports and champions organizations serving LGBTQ youth around the world. TAC tells SMG, its unique connection to the entertainment industry is a force for change . The organization works with artists to meaningfully engage fans and raise awareness about the systemic inequalities LGBTQ youth face.
“TAC believes allies need to fight discrimination and we use music to mobilize fans.”
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) is a Black and transgender-led organization that honors PRIDE all day, every day and aims to continue Marsha P. Johnson’s legacy on behalf of Black trans people. According to MPJI, the organization was founded in response to the murders of Black trans women and women of color, and since then, it has organized and advocated to protect and defend the human rights of Black transgender people. MPJI tells us a core part of their work is the intentional community they’ve created for healing and developing transformative leadership. The organization also highlights how Black trans women and women of color are often excluded from social justice spaces.
SMG also supports with The Audre Lorde Project (ALP), a New York City area community organizing center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans, and gender non-conforming people of color. ALP mobilizes for social and economic justice across a variety of communities, creating unified strategies to address the issues those communities face.
SMG also partners with and supports GLAAD and their mission to rewrite the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD’s Southern Stories initiative is just one example of how their organization is promoting and ensuring fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of individuals and events across mediums. According to GLAAD, Southern Stories sheds light on the stories of LGBTQ people and their allies in the South, raising awareness about their unique experiences.
Out in Tech helps the LGBTQ+ tech community advance careers, grow networks, and use tech to effect social change. Since 2017, over 500 LGBTQ+ youth graduated from Out in Tech U’s eight-week mentorship program. As of this spring, 38% of Out in Tech graduates identify as transgender or non-binary, and 62% are people of color, reflecting the organizations efforts to offer the most underestimated LGBTQ+ people concrete pathways to thrive in tech.
“What if we stopped using pedigree as a proxy for performance? As the saying goes, talent is evenly distributed; opportunity is not.”
Last but not least, SMG supports the Point Foundation, whose mission is to help LGBTQ students reach their full potential as leaders through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training. The Point Foundation is the largest organization in the country granting merit scholarships for LGBTQ students.
We want to deeply thank our community partners for the work they continue to do for LGBTQ+ people — we couldn’t be prouder to support their missions.