JukeJoint Foundation Launches to Empower Women of Colour in Music Business

The new nonprofit organization seeks to promote professional development of women of colour in the music industry through networking, programming initiatives, and funding.

Manus Hopkins
February 22, 2023

Janishia Jones, a music industry executive and entrepreneur, founded JukeJoint Foundation with a clear mission: to celebrate and support women of color working in the music business. The organization is dedicated to promoting greater inclusion of women of color in the industry and advancing equity in decision-making processes.

“Women of colour are the culture creators of the world, yet we are seldom driving the narratives to our own stories,” explains Jones. “The value of women of color in the music industry cannot be overstated, despite being underrepresented. Though there is only one black female music executive for every 18 white male music executives, it is evident that diverse perspectives are crucial in generating larger profits and reaching wider audiences. The scarcity of people of colour in this business only highlights the value add they bring.”

The current board members of JukeJoint Foundation - including Candace Newman, CEO of Live Out L!ve; Britnee Foreman, Head of Data Strategy at Exceleration Music; Katrina Lee, Operations Manager at Jammcard; and Daphnee Pierre, Head of Finance at Mass Appeal - bring with them extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, particularly in the areas of youth development, women's empowerment, and supporting music industry professionals.

JukeJoint Foundation aims to revolutionize the music industry by removing the barriers that prevent marginalized groups from succeeding. Beyond raising cultural awareness and sensitivities - they are working to tackle the practical challenges that limit the professional potential of women of color.

“Through my research study, A Seat at the Table, I’ve been able to pinpoint several concrete issues women of color face in the music business by analyzing the data. Though they are the most educated, the majority take on student loan debt to finance their education and enter via unpaid internships which creates a direct economic disadvantage,” Jones notes. “In a relationship-driven industry, the most significant barrier to entry is the lack of direct connections or access to the same resources of white counterparts. With programming and initiatives aimed at addressing these and other specific challenges, we can make a lasting impact on the music business.”

JukeJoint Foundation will help women of color forge key professional connections via access to music industry events, scholarships to assist student members in repaying student loan debt, and grants to aid in the launch of their own music businesses. It plans to open chapters in New York, Atlanta, and Nashville, in addition to LA. A Founding Members Meetup is slated ror March 4, 2023 at Harriet's rooftop in Toronto. Potential members and sponsors can reach out to the Foundation at jukejointfoundation.org.

Manus Hopkins

Manus Hopkins is the Assistant Editor of Canadian Musician