Statement on Equity and Inclusion
June 6, 2020
Dear Students, Families, Supporters, and Friends,
Today’s email was supposed to be a reminder to stop what you are doing at 12 pm today and make music wherever you are – on your porch, in your driveway, on the sidewalk, even through your window. And it is still that, but in recognition of the urgency of the current moment, it is also more.
Painful events of the past two weeks have prompted a national reckoning with the deep racial disparities in our country, a moment long overdue, and one that cannot be put off.
In the simplest terms, Upper Valley Music Center stands against racism and violence and for justice, opportunity, and voice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color members of our community. Black lives matter. Black art matters. Black music matters.
We care deeply about making UVMC a place that is welcoming to all and where every voice can be valued and heard. We are ready to listen to and learn from those who live with these injustices every single day and let their words be our compass for change.
While important, a statement of values is not enough. UVMC’s Strategic Plan includes goals to increase access to music education and to pursue diversity within our organization. We recognize that what we have done so far is not enough. These established goals provide a framework for us to act personally and locally, and we are committing now to more action and accountability.
Making music is a deeply human act, and UVMC’s contribution to justice and equity will be rooted there. Not necessarily in everyone making the same music, but in recognizing our shared humanity in everyone who plays or sings a note.
Today at noon, let us make music to make our community stronger: one that is more peaceful, more equitable, and that values the lives and lifts up the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color members of our community.
Tomorrow we must continue to work, and the next day, and the next, until we hear the change we seek.
Upper Valley Music Center Board of Directors, Faculty, and Staff
JAG Productions, a black owned and directed arts company in the Upper Valley, has issued a powerful statement that can help access resources to guide that work. Read their statement, and support their work here.