Coachella Organizers Reveal New Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives - Rolling Stone
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Coachella Organizers Unveil New Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

A “diverse group of employee allies” within Goldenvoice say they’re determined to “expand on racial justice work,” update hiring procedures, collaborate with black creatives on merch, and more

Designs by Supervsn (left) and Bricks & Wood (right)

Courtesy of Goldenvoice

In July, Goldenvoice revealed on social media platforms that a diverse group of employees had formed an entity called GV Black to increase black representation at the concert company and its biggest music festival, Coachella. On Tuesday morning, the company announced the group’s first list of initiatives in a memo, with a representative describing the ideas as “a starting point” that’s “not meant to be static but to expand and evolve to best suit our community.”

The memo — presented, in full, below — is separated into four categories surrounding the amplification of voices, community care, economic opportunity, and staff culture.

As part of GV Black’s mission to amplify voices, for example, Goldenvoice is partnering with black fashion designers to create purposeful Coachella merch. Streetwear designer and South Central L.A. resident Kacey Lynch, aka Bricks & Wood, came up with a long-sleeve that depicts the festival as “a celebration of black music and togetherness.” Bricks & Wood decided to send proceeds from the sales to Dreamhaus, a L.A.-based art nonprofit organization founded by fellow South Central natives Nikko & Mike.

On the back of a shirt designed by Diana Boardley — a creative director at Stella Georgia who’s designed merch for multiple Grammy-nominated artists — the text reads, “We do not stand for injustice. We do not stand for racism. We do not stand for bigotry. We stand for music. We stand for celebration. We stand for love. We stand for unity. We stand for black lives. They matter.” Proceeds generated by her shirt will go to Sole Folks, “a … nonprofit organization that empowers emerging entrepreneurs.”

Other merch designers include Nicholas Mayfield and Supervsn, who’ve aligned with nonprofits Black Design Collective and Living Through Giving, respectively.

The memo also suggests empowering the LGBTQ+ BIPOC community “through a queer and trans mentor-led experience.” This opportunity would occur on the grounds during Coachella and include a “discussion of issues that affect the community and lead to actionable dialogue and change beyond the festival.”

GV Black hopes to revamp Coachella’s hiring and contracting procedures as well, urging recruitment officials to focus on current and future BIPOC-owned businesses when procuring vendors. Additionally, there’s talk of creating more employment opportunities for formerly-incarcerated BIPOC, along with a mentorship pipeline through schools nationwide to promote career development among BIPOC youth.

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GV BLACK’S INITATIVES
Amplifying Voices
Share our platform with black creatives to support their brands and black nonprofit organizations of their choosing as part of a specialty merchandise collaboration. Continue this dynamic partnership within the entire festival merchandising ecosystem from design, to strategy, to final product.

Encourage fans to get ready to vote with Headcount by checking registration, registering and reviewing resources to inform ballot decisions. Educate about voter suppression and empower individuals to take action in their local community and national elections.

Diana Boardley Coachella

Diana Boardley’s Coachella design

Community Care
Deepen our work across the intersections of race, gender and mental health as they connect to our existing — transformative justice inspired — harassment prevention program, every one.

Celebrate and empower the LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community through a Queer/Trans mentor-led festival experience meant to support discussion of issues that affect the community and lead to actionable dialogue and change beyond the festival – curated by Juice x Navi, Queer +

Further our festival’s inclusivity and accessibility efforts, including employment initiatives in support of BIPOC people with disabilities, via an inaugural program that will host and honor guests within the community, with a focus on forwarding issues facing this group — led by Sabeerah Najee in partnership with Accessible Festivals.

Economic Opportunity
Establish sustainable and measurable hiring and contracting procedures in efforts to grow and develop current and future BIPOC-owned businesses, as part of our vendor procurement strategy — creating a more diverse and well-rounded production workforce at our festivals.

Create distinct pathways for current and future BIPOC vendors, entrepreneurs, and creatives to be involved in all festival verticals: performances, art, merchandise, content, technology, food and beverage, partnerships, operations and management.

Continue to build employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated BIPOC and expand the candidate pool to work at the festival across all departments and managerial levels. Establish strategic partnerships in the formerly incarcerated workforce re-entry space to develop an employment mentorship program.

Staff Culture
Develop long-term relationships with schools, programs and collectives that focus on BIPOC youth career development and create recruitment pipelines for current and future candidates by building relationships with workforce preparedness groups, trade schools, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and other BIPOC career-preparatory organizations.

Engage in comprehensive and ongoing BIPOC-owned training and consultation that upholds racial justice values. Continue to develop as a zero-tolerance, anti-racist workplace and festival site that provides safety, support, and equitable opportunity for BIPOC colleagues and our entire community, old and new.

In This Article: Coachella, Goldenvoice, music industry

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