An update to our community from our CEO
Music as we know it would not exist without the Black community and all communities of color. As a music platform founded and built by creators, for creators, SoundCloud has a deep responsibility to take action to translate the tragic killing of George Floyd, and too many others, into long-term change for the Black community in the U.S., and communities of color worldwide.
Every day, many of our SoundCloud teammates and millions of our community members live with the pain of racism. It is important to acknowledge this is not new, and many of us — myself included — have never experienced this pain firsthand. This makes speaking authenticatically about what we face and what we can do as a company challenging. But it is more important we continue to speak openly and risk making mistakes, than to not engage.
Like many companies, we continue to reflect on how we will take action internally to support our team, as well as externally to support our community and drive change in our industry and society. This will be an ongoing process for us, and today, I want to share some of the initial actions that SoundCloud is taking:
Increasing diversity at all levels of leadership
The internal commitments we have made to diversity and inclusion have never been more important. We will continue to build more diversity in our recruiting pipeline around race and gender, especially for senior leadership roles. Alongside recruiting, we will expand our mentoring program connecting senior and junior team members of different backgrounds, in order to develop diverse leaders from within SoundCloud.
Externally benchmarking all current SoundCloud diversity practices
To objectively evaluate our efforts to date in recruiting, ally training and compensation, we are hiring a diversity and inclusion consultancy that specializes in working with global organizations like ours. This will help us look openly for gaps across our team, operations, product and business, and expose us to best practices from other organizations and industries.
Launching the SoundCloud Community Fund
To formalize our support for other organizations driving change, we are establishing the SoundCloud Community Fund to provide long-term support in two areas tied to SoundCloud’s mission and values: advancing social justice and equality, and supporting the mental health and well-being of our creator community.
The fund will draw on the strengths of SoundCloud in a few key ways. We will offer partners both financial support and media on our platform to reach SoundCloud’s young, diverse, global community. This will support established organizations, while also promoting community-led, grassroots efforts on the front lines so SoundCloud can play a part in growing future generations of activist leaders, as we do for emerging creative voices. We are starting the fund with an initial $1M cash investment and $5M media commitment.
Expanding resources to help creators build their careers on their terms, own their work and drive change in the music industry
We must support creators of color who drive global music culture but don’t reap fair credit or financial gain. We are increasing our investment in our SoundCloud Creator Forum and Repost Select programs, offering more creators of color access to financial, legal and industry education, partnership-based business models, and direct funding to empower them to strike better deals, own their work long-term, and drive change in the music industry.
Live industry and creator roundtables to discuss social justice and ways to drive change
Next week, SoundCloud will kick off live conversations with voices from across our creator community, influential activists and the music industry to elevate topics like social justice, industry education, mental health and voter registration. On Wednesday, June 24th, we are launching a new series, “The Journey,” featuring intimate discussions with Black industry executives about building their careers and educating future leaders to be part of industry change.
This is a start in a long-term journey for change, and we will continue putting in the work to support all members of our team, and the communities that move culture forward on SoundCloud every day.