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The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) proudly announced a new partnership to launch, sustain and support “OnRamp,” a guaranteed income program for 20 young, Black members of the music community, including artists and industry professionals, in Nashville, Tennessee. The OnRamp program, focused on improving inclusivity and equity within Music City, aims to empower the next generation of leaders in the early stages of their careers by granting access to professional development opportunities, community mentorship, and other opportunities to increase personal growth, industry exposure, exclusive Academy membership panels and tentpole live events, and visibility with Academy Board members and industry leaders. Additionally, through the program, each participant will receive a $1,000 monthly stipend for one year.

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ACM x BMAC OnRamp, Inaugural Class:

Erica Baker, attorney
Jasmine Bavaro, management and audio engineer
Tylar Bryant, artist
Tatyana Carter, artist manager
Carmen Dianne, artist
Larysa Jaye, artist
The Kentucky Gentlemen, artist
Chasidy Lauderdale, business management
Cameron Leavy-Thorn, music business student
Tae Lewis, artist
Roz Malone, musician
Daisha McBride, artist
Kim Ortiz, music licensing
Nina Teapot Owens, creative consultant
Qualls, artist
Nick Tabron, artist
Kendall Warner, artist
Dede Neahn West, public relations
Julie Williams, artist
Amari Young, A&R

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Click here if you would like more information on how to become a mentor for the program.
Mentors will meet monthly with their mentees via Zoom or in-person. You do not need to be located in Nashville to mentor.

This inaugural program will initially be funded by the Black Music Action Coalition, the Academy of Country Music, and industry partners, and powered by social impact agency BreatheWithMe. The organizations are encouraging corporations and companies operating in Nashville and beyond to make a financial contribution to OnRamp as a means of powering their future equity and inclusion programs. OnRamp is one of many guaranteed income programs BMAC will be announcing throughout the year.

Playing an active role in guiding the OnRamp program and bringing it to life will be the members of the ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program’s 2022 cohort. ACM LEVel Up is a widely-heralded, Nashville-based professional development and enrichment program for rising leaders in Country Music, funded entirely by the Academy of Country Music at no cost to participants. The two-year curriculum is designed to empower participants to play a pivotal role in expanding the horizons of Country Music into new audiences that transcend demographics and geography. In December 2022, the Academy announced the program’s 2023 cohort, representing an entirely new and unduplicated list of organizations from the 2022 inaugural class.

Last June, Black Music Action Coalition released a report, Three Chords & The ACTUAL Truth, which documented opportunities for improvement in Black representation and participation in the Country Music space. The report called for Music Row, the city of Nashville and its companies, organizations and individuals committed to change and equity to partner with BMAC in a transformational program for Black artists in Nashville. The Academy of Country Music is amongst the first industry leaders to recognize and help facilitate necessary changes within the music community.

The rollout of the monthly stipend to the OnRamp class participants will be done via Steady, the social impact technology platform co-founded by Shaquille O'Neal that aims to help workers earn more and improve their financial lives. ⁣Steady has a robust history of not just supporting and streamlining the distribution of guaranteed income programs, but also quantifying their impact from intervention to outcome. Through partnerships with more than 20 cities and counties nationwide, Steady has distributed more than $75 million in funding to over 20,000 participants.

The Academy of Country Music has always proudly stood, throughout its almost 60-year history, as a progressive, welcoming organization for all, including an active, community-leading commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion stretching across all facets of the industry. In its mission statement, the Academy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative affirms a relentless commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups, encompassing but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, LatinX and Women in the Country Music industry, from the boardroom to the stage.