Black Theatre United (BTU) releases the new song and video, “Stand for Change,” today in partnership with the Republic Records Action Committee (R2AC). The incredibly powerful and emotional song is brought to life by 13 acclaimed and award-winning veterans of the Broadway stage, and features BTU founding members Vanessa Williams, Billy Porter, Audra McDonald, Darius de Haas, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lillias White, Allyson Tucker, Michael McElroy, NaTasha Yvette Williams, LaChanze, Wendell Pierce, and Capathia Jenkins. Created as the theme song for BTU, 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the record will support the ongoing social justice efforts of the organization.
“Stand for Change” was written by NYU professors Dave Schroeder (Director of MPAP) and Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Phil Galdston (Director ofSongwriting), and produced by Galdston, and Swagg R’Celious. The video is produced by HunterPark Productions partners Bethanie Schwartz and Lauren Tuttman in collaboration with producer Liz Curtis, directed by filmmaker Michael Cooke, and edited by Zeus Sepulveda. The song and video unite the shared racial equity and social justice missions of BTU to Unify, Advocate and Educate, and R2AC’s mission of Social Responsibility and Sustained Leadership. The partnership aims to not only call out and challenge racial inequity and inclusion for Black artists and behind-the scenes talent in the Broadway theater industry, but to galvanize communities to stand up for them throughout the country.
“Over this past year, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on many industries, and the entertainment industry and the shutdown of Broadway has been hit significantly,” said one of BTU’s founding members Vanessa Williams. “We’re hopeful ‘Stand for Change,’ will bring more attention to the plight of Black theater artists and will inspire and empower people to believe we can make meaningful changes to create a more equitable society. We’re particularly grateful to Republic Records for embracing and supporting our efforts.”
“We are honored to work with Black Theatre United on such an important mission to help bring light to the racial disparities in the Black theater community with ‘Stand for Change,’” says Avery Lipman, Co-founder and President of Republic Records. “The song conveys a vital message that will inspire change not only in the theater world, but all over the world.”
BTU was formed in response to the wave of national unrest over racial injustice that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. The coalition’s focus is to influence widespread reform and combat systemic racism within the theater industry and across the U.S. Their most recent efforts include bolstering census participation and developing new mentorship programs for aspiring young Black theater artists.
In 2020, Republic Records launched the Republic Records Action Committee (R2AC), an internal task force aimed to take on social injustices both internally and externally. The committee pledges to use their platform and resources to better generate awareness and to drive powerful impact in various communities.