Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Home » Diversity Report » Diversity Awards Open to All AFM Locals

Diversity Awards Open to All AFM Locals

  -  AFM Diversity Committee Chair and Member of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX)

The AFM Diversity Awards were created in 2005 to recognize outstanding examples of diversity within the AFM. For every action there is a reaction, which over time becomes our history. That was the basis for creating the awards. During every AFM Convention since 2005, a time has been set aside to reflect and present Diversity Awards. These three awards recognize the work that AFM musicians and locals have done to promote diversity throughout their communities.

Nominations for the Diversity Awards for the 102nd AFM Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, are now being accepted. The awards to be presented are the Presidents’ Local Award, the Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award, and the Charles McDaniel Youth Award.

The Presidents’ Local Award is awarded to the local that demonstrates diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) via a diverse executive board, articles in the local’s newsletter, a local diversity committee, or events sponsored by the local, which demonstrate diversity in various genres of music. Locals that have previously won the Presidents’ Local Award are not eligible.

The Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award is for a member who has shown dedication to both union and community issues throughout their lifetime.

The Charles McDaniel Youth Award is for anyone between 16 and 35 years old who has shown their accomplishments as a young, upcoming musician in their local and throughout their community.

While each of the application procedures is standard, they differ based on criteria and some of the mechanisms designed to achieve a sense of thought and hard work by the applicants. The first stage of the application process ends February 3, 2023. Applicants will be notified if they advance to the second stage, which ends April 14, 2023. Final applications are criteria certified by the Diversity Awards Committee and judged by independent judges. The AFM fully supports this program and encourages all locals to participate.

All applications must come from the local. Locals must have an awards nomination/review committee consisting of at least three people or the local’s executive board. All applications must be submitted from the local to the AFM president’s office.

An email blast from AFM President Ray Hair will be sent to all local officers from which they can obtain applications for all three Diversity Awards.

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