Warner Music UK partners with Rio Ferdinand Foundation to run career guidance and mentoring programs during Black History Month

Rio Ferdinand

Warner Music UK (WMUK) has partnered with Music Against Racism and The Rio Ferdinand Foundation, a youth and community charity founded by British sports star Rio Ferdinand, to raise awareness of racism and inequality in the UK.

Over Black History Month (October) and into November, the partnership will offer young people workshops and personal development programs, skills training, career guidance, mentoring, seminars and workplace visits.

WMUK says the activations will promote equality and diversity, address issues of racism in UK and provide a platform for young people to share thoughts and solutions through music, spoken word, film and social media.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation will offer frontline programme delivery of workshops, activities and training with young people.

WMUK says that the partnership is part of its “commitment to furthering equality, diversity and inclusion in the music industry and the broader community”.

In June last year, the $100 million Warner Music Group and Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund launched to support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice, and education, as well as campaigns against violence and racism.

“Music has always been a melting pot of cultures.”

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand, Founder and Patron of the Foundation, said: “Music has always been a melting pot of cultures and speaks directly to people in ways they can enjoy and understand.

“Our United Against Racism programme has worked with the music industry and ambassadors alongside sport and film to share our message widely throughout 2021 and we are very excited by this announcement.

“This collaboration with Warner Music UK and Music Against Racism demonstrates the opportunities that business and charities working together can bring to create positive change in society.”

“music and sport (especially football) are the most vibrant forces driving cultural conversation.”

Tony Harlow, Warner Music UK

Tony Harlow, CEO of Warner Music UK, said: “In Britain today, music and sport (especially football) are the most vibrant forces driving cultural conversation and change around diversity and inclusivity.

“Rio Ferdinand knew the power of this combination years ago and has always been passionate about British Black Music.

“He has built a strong, vibrant Foundation around this history. Warner Music UK is proud to partner with him and his team, Music Against Racism, and front line warriors like Paul Canoville.

“We want to help support the Foundation’s initiatives by adding music to the many opportunities they already create for disadvantaged young people and hope that they can benefit from our expertise, facilities, and access to our artists.

“We’re particularly pleased that this first initiative will take place in both Lewisham and Salford, as we’re committed to supporting communities outside the capital.

“With this partnership, we can move quickly and powerfully to create genuinely great experiences and further our commitment to driving real change not only in UK music but society in general.”

“This new partnership […] is a fantastic opportunity for us to challenge racism and inequality.”

Olivia Edwards–Allen, Music Against Racism

Olivia Edwards–Allen, CEO of Music Against Racism said: “This new partnership with Warner Music UK and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation is a fantastic opportunity for us to challenge racism and inequality through and in the music industry across the UK, and is a great way for our organisation to mark Black History Month.

“We are looking forward to engaging with young people, creating and showcasing content that will raise reflect their thoughts and solutions to those issues and to working with them to shape our own education curriculum for 2022.”Music Business Worldwide