The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards, invited 900 people to join as voting members in a move meant to increase diversity, Billboard first reported.
In an email to NBC News, the academy said that invitees are all women and/or people of color and/or under 39 years old.
The academy’s task force on diversity and inclusion, formed by Tina Tchen, who served as one of Michelle Obama’s chief’s of staff, recommended the move to increase diversity within its membership.
“A key issue of having the Recording Academy reflect the broad industry and even more, the broader population, is to make sure we’re reaching out to people who are currently underrepresented in the current Academy membership,” Tchen told Billboard. “we know there are not enough young people in the Academy membership even though we have amazing young artists who are making music, who have the credits to get in and they are our future. It’s important to reach out to them.”
Neil Portnow, chairman of the Recording Academy, announced in May that he was stepping down from his position. The news came months after he was criticized that women musicians and executives need to “step up” to receive equal treatment.