From left are Jimmy Jam, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, and Terry Lewis at the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Music Maker Dinner. (Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for BMAC)

 Since the height of racial dismay during Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2022, advocacy organization, Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) has continued to align with music companies and industry professionals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion by hosting a slate of event programming during 2024’s Grammy week.

Efforts aimed at celebrating diversity amongst Black creatives and music makers offered an opportunity to deliver real solutions further revealing how the power of music can be a catalyst to create economic justice.

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In the days leading up to the Recording Academy’s 66th Grammy Awards ceremony, grant partnerships, parties, and panel discussions provided a barometer on how the industry is progressing in the midst of a paradigm shift led by corporate commitments leading the way by first giving Black music makers their flowers while they can still enjoy them.

BMAC kicked off its Grammy week celebrations with an exclusive Music Maker Dinner hosted in collaboration with legendary producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis at Delilah in Los Angeles, CA. The star-studded evening united industry leaders and celebrated artists including this year’s seven-time Grammy nominated and Best New Artist Victoria Monét along with Jermaine Dupri, Babyface, Muni Long, Flavor Flav, Teedra Moses, Mondaii, Kenny Burns, BMAC board members and other Black music industry elite.

Tank, Kenny Burns, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and Flavor Flav attend the dinner. (Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for BMAC)

Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, BMAC co-founder, president, and CEO kicked off the evening with opening remarks: “Tonight is about paying it forward. It’s about using our platforms to make sure that those that are behind us know exactly which way to go.”

Dedicated to supporting and advancing the economic empowerment of Black music entrepreneurs, artists, producers, and songwriters, the dinner awarded Mikaili Ector and Zaire Porter with $5,000 each as recipients of the 2024 BMAC x ASCAP x Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Music Maker Grant. The annual award empowers aspiring Black producers and songwriters with funding, studio time, and mentorship from the Grammy Award-winning, legendary duo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis was created in celebration of the music trailblazers’ induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2023.

Multi-talented, singer-songwriter and Victoria Monét, who throughout her blossoming career has garnered 10 Grammy nominations, also announced the BMAC x Victoria Monét Music Maker Grant, which will award a Black emerging artist $5,000 to aid in economic empowerment, as well as offer a roster of mentorship opportunities and direct career advice from Monét herself. When speaking about the importance of giving back to the next generation of Black music artists, Monét said: “When you give, the feeling lasts longer than the gift itself.” She would go on to win not only for Best New Artist while her “Jaguar II” also won Best R&B album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Additional highlights from the evening included Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Flavor Flav, Tank and Kenny Burns creating an impromptu quartet covering Babyface’s “Whip Appeal.” Tank also led a sing-a-long with the packed room of music industry professionals by performing Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam’s incredible catalog of hits while live music was provided by 1500 or Nothin’ and friends. Jermaine Dupri took over the DJ booth and spun some of his big hits and other classics which kept the crowd dancing through the night. Singer Teedra Moses sang Cheryl Lynn’s “Encore” as the crowd cheered her on and a silent auction encouraged by Willie “Prophet” Stiggers & Flavor Flav opened the spirit of giving back for ongoing impact to support those involved in the music making process.

Continuing the festivities on Feb. 1, BMAC partnered with BOMESI (Black-owned Media Equity & Sustainability Institute) to raise the importance of Black-owned media and Black journalists at an exclusive Media Mixer at Live Nation in Beverly Hills, CA. The event featured a powerful panel discussion of behind-the-scenes players Rhonesha Byng (founder/CEO of Her Agenda and co-founder of BOMESI), James DuBose (founder/CEO of In the Black Network), Tasha Hilton (senior director of Marketing, BET), and Grouchy Greg Watkins (co-founder, All Hip Hop), moderated by Stiggers.

From left are Hannah Karp, Lindsay Wagner, Maura Cuffie-Peterson, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Congresswoman Cori Bush, Ashaunna Ayars, Caron Veazey, Michael Tubbs, David Zedeck, and Willie “Prophet” Stiggers. (Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for BMAC)

“We’ve been a part of online media for 25 years and when we started there no other outlets telling the stories of hip-hop culture which we now know dominates everything in the world from sports and fashion to the way people speak and what you see on TV,” recalled Watkins.

“Having these outlets that are owned by people from the community that tell these stories in an authentic manner for audiences to relate to is very important. From the past 10 to 15 years corporate America has caught on to the impact yet in many ways it has been co-opted,” he went on to say while also remembering the historical contributions of T. Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells for Black publishers within journalism.

On Feb. 2, BMAC’s Grammy week celebration concluded with an Economic Justice Summit in partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, iHeartMedia, Creatives Rebuild New York, Billboard and UTA. The event featured an exclusive preview of the “It’s Basic” documentary, directed by Marc Levin and executive produced by Michael Tubbs, and a panel conversation on racial equity in the music industry featuring panelists Michael Tubbs (former mayor of Stockton and executive producer of “It’s Basic”), Maura Cuffie-Peterson (Creatives Rebuild NY), Marc Levin (director, “It’s Basic”) and John Sykes (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/iHeartMedia).

“It’s Basic” explores the profound impact of Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs through real-life case studies where individuals received $500 to $1,000 monthly. The film dives deeper by offering a compelling look at the potential of UBI in addressing financial instability and inequality.

Immediately after the summit and panel, BMAC hosted an exquisite summit at UTA’s courtyard, bringing together esteemed industry leaders, UTA executives and clients, celebrated artists, and politicians. This special gathering was designed to facilitate exceptional networking opportunities and drive economic empowerment.

Over the last year, BMAC has been instrumental in addressing systemic racism within the music business and advocating on behalf of Black artists, songwriters, producers, managers, agents, executives, lawyers and other impassioned industry professionals.

BMAC continues to offer resources, industry report cards and event programming. For more on information, visit: