The Local 1000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group conducted a demographic survey in early 2022 and delivered their report on the results at our November 2022 membership meeting.
Summary of Results
Our local is overwhelmingly white, English-speaking, and over 55. Over 90% of members identify as cis-gender, and around 83% identify as heterosexual.
The results of this survey illustrate clearly how homogenous we are overall as a group. “Touring acoustic musicians” is a broad category that encompasses many different kinds of musicians playing many different kinds of music. How come we don’t have a more diverse membership?
One answer might be that as a small organization started by a dedicated group of people, we have historically reached out to those that we already know to become members. This no longer works for us. If we are to be sustainable and remain vital, we need to be building links and relationships in new places, meeting and talking to different kinds of musicians about the work we are doing and how it can make a difference for all of us. Reaching younger musicians is particularly crucial if we want to survive in the long term.
Diversity and inclusion should be an important factor in how we structure any future organizing efforts. We need to get our organizers out to events that are outside the usual events (like FAI) to places where we can talk union and Fair Trade Music with different kinds of musicians.
It’s also important for us to speak up publicly and take action around equity issues in the music industry, within the AFM, and in the union movement in general. If we want to make conditions better for all touring acoustic musicians, that means addressing issues of harassment and discrimination within our corner of the industry and doing what we can to concretely move the needle so that ALL our members benefit.
Hand in hand with these efforts, we need to ensure that once members join Local 1000, they feel included, represented, seen, and heard. This is where our internal organizing around equity issues will strengthen our local by making it a more welcoming and open organization that feels like home to more and more members of diverse backgrounds and identities.