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Arts, Entertainment, and Media Unions Announce Legislative Push to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Published February 11, 2021   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Feb. 11, 2021 - Today, the arts, entertainment, and media unions affiliated with the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) announced their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy agenda during a digital press conference with union leaders, staff, and members. The DEI policy agenda details the legislative action the unions will urge members of Congress to support to help make their industries more representative. 

“Diversity is a strength,” said DPE President Jennifer Dorning. “Creative professionals and their unions know this, and continue to prioritize making their industries more accessible to underrepresented people. Advocating for policy changes at the national level is a natural continuation of the work arts, entertainment, and media unions have been doing to advance DEI in their creative industries.”

AGMA is one of the 24 DPE affiliate unions. AGMA President Ray Menard and AGMA Board Member Aleta Braxton spoke on behalf of AGMA and the policy agenda at the press conference.

“The Policy Agenda for Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries is a valiant first step toward real change and real healing. We need Arts leaders to be allies, and maybe this policy is the jumping-off point toward holding people accountable and toward true allyship,” Aleta said during her moving four-minute speech. “Reading this policy agenda affirmed my belief that most people don’t want the same old world we once survived in, but that most people – good people – hope to build a NEW world we can all thrive in.”

The DEI policy agenda seeks to support middle-class careers, through passing legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the AM-FM Act, and reforming Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The policy agenda also centers on increasing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support the opportunities needed to create wide and diverse talent pipelines. With states like Illinois, New Jersey, and New York leading the way on enacting tax incentives to encourage diverse hiring, the policy agenda lifts up these states as examples to create federal tax incentives that will spur more inclusive hiring in film, television, and live entertainment.

“We look forward to working with members of Congress and their offices to make these smart policy solutions a reality,” said Dorning.

The unions putting forth this DEI policy agenda include:

  • American Guild of Musical Artists
  • Actors’ Equity Association
  • American Federation of Musicians
  • American Guild of Variety Artists
  • Directors Guild of America
  • Guild of Italian American Actors
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Office and Professional Employees International Union 
  • Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists 
  • Stage Directors and Choreographers Society 
  • Writers Guild of America, East

Press release template provided by DPE.