The Blues Foundation unequivocally condemns all forms and expressions of racism, including all symbols associated with white supremacy and the degradation of people of color. We will hold ourselves as well as all blues musicians, fans, organizations, and members of the music industry accountable for racist actions and encourage concrete commitments to acknowledge and redress the resulting pain.

The Blues Foundation acknowledges that racism contributed to the historic oppression and exploitation of African American blues musicians and recognizes that hateful acts of racism continue to afflict the blues community today. We consistently strive to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race within the blues community. We commit to the ongoing development and implementation of strategies to dismantle structural and systemic racism within our programs, special events and organization. We hereby adopt an action plan to purposefully address racism and contribute to a more equitable blues community.

The Blues Foundation will:

  • Employ practices to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in the production of all special events, including the International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards
  • Assess the policies and rules of the International Blues Challenge, Blues Music Awards, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards to identify and remedy instances of exclusion, barriers to participation, and biased judging
  • Pursue a “Business of the Blues” initiative to encourage and support the fair and equitable participation of people of color in the production of festivals, artist management, public relations, and other aspects of the blues music industry
  • Utilize communication strategies to reach beyond our traditional constituency and to effectively broaden and diversify our audiences
  • Build upon Generation Blues and Blues In The Schools programs to educate young people of all backgrounds about the history of the blues and to encourage their appreciation of blues music
  • Attract a diverse board and staff, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment to encourage their retention
  • Enhance and prioritize our “Blues and Race” programming to facilitate honest dialogue within the blues community and identify impactful remedies