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 » The AFM Diversity Committee: 20 Years Strong

The AFM Diversity Committee: 20 Years Strong

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

In 2003, at the 95th AFM Convention, the original Diversity Council, which was appointed by AFM International President Steve Young in 1996, was given official status as a standing committee of the AFM and was renamed the AFM Diversity Committee. With Otis Ducker as committee chair, it was granted the authority and privileges of other standing committees.

One of our goals was to create ways to celebrate diversity in the AFM. Thus, the Diversity Awards were launched. In 2005 at the 97th AFM Convention, the first three Diversity Awards were presented. The Diversity Committee continues to celebrate and acknowledge outstanding members of the AFM; at the 102nd AFM Convention, it will present another round of awards.

Last year, the Diversity Committee collaborated with Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) Trustee Dan Beck and initiated 100% funding for Juneteenth celebrations. We hope more locals will participate in Juneteenth celebrations this year and that the holiday will become an integral part of MPTF funding projects each year.

Over the last two years, the AFM Diversity Committee collaborated with International Vice President Bruce Fife and AFM directors on a DEI training program for AFM local officers. Two members of the AFM Diversity Committee, Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM) President Tracey Whitney and Local 7 (Orange County, CA) President Edmund Velasco, along with other staff and AFM President Ray Hair, have finished a Race and Labor diversity training program.

The presentation, “Race and Labor,” made its debut at the 2023 Western Conference. The program will be presented again on Saturday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m., during the joint session of the Southern and Eastern conferences, and again on Sunday, June 25, at 2:00 p.m., as a workshop prior to the AFM Convention. AFM delegates are welcome to attend either of these presentations.

In addition to the Race and Labor presentation, the members of the Diversity Committee, will give two other presentations at the AFM Convention: a women’s caucus and a meeting of all Diversity delegates. Locals that have diversity committees are encouraged to attend the Diversity Delegate meeting. The meeting rooms for the women’s caucus and Diversity Delegate meeting will be announced at the convention.

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