Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Statement Against Authoritarianism

March 4, 2022

Like many around the world, we are horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our College’s commitment to elevating humanity extends well beyond our campus and local communities. Moreover, many of our own faculty, staff and students are directly and indirectly impacted by this and other humanitarian crises. We thus stand in solidarity with Ukrainians, Afghans, Uyghurs and other people around the world who seek self-determination, autonomy and independence. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized, the struggle is for “democracy, freedom” (March 1, 2022). The foundation of our work to dismantle hate, bias and discrimination lies in these principles. Without freedom, there is no democracy and vice versa.

As many political scientists have noted recently, authoritarianism is on the rise around the globe and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is one horrific manifestation of this trend. Freedom House, which tracks every country in the world, reports that global political freedom has declined every year since 2006 and “faces a dire threat” (“Freedom in the World 2002”). We unequivocally stand against authoritarianism and the oppression and killing of those who seek to live in a free, safe and democratic society.

For a list of highly rated, non-profit organizations engaged in relief, recovery and peace-building efforts, visit Charity Navigator: Ukrainian-Russian Crisis. The Northern Nevada International Center also released a statement regarding the crisis in Ukraine, which contains information on how to help refugees.

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)

March 24, 2021

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed the rise of racism and xenophobia directed toward Asian, Pacific Islander, and Asian American communities. Rhetoric devolved into deadly violence, and in the last year hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased 150 percent. The shootings that took place in Atlanta on March 16th along with the recent attacks against elderly members of Asian American communities across the country are catastrophic and disturbing. This is deeply personal for us and we will not be silent or complicit. As others have emphasized, it is imperative to remember and honor those who are victims of violence. They remind us why we must affirm our commitment to enact change and do more. At this moment, we honor Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Yong Yue, and injured survivor Elcías R. Hernández-Ortiz. Let us commit to remembering them.

The purpose of this statement is not only to express the Department of Music’s solidarity with Asian, Pacific Islander and Asian American communities, but also to restate our commitment to promoting education, scholarship and programming that will foster racial reconciliation and social change. We urge our community to be diligent in recognizing and taking proper action against racism and acts of hate. Please report any hate or bias incident that occurs on campus. We commit to working together to create the type of change that is necessary for all members of our community to feel safe and valued.

Find out more information about how to be an ally and review antiracist resources compiled by the University's College of Liberal Arts.

Adapted from the Society for American Music’s statement on March 19, 2021 and a statement from the CLA Dean’s Office that appears in the CLA Newsletter on March 19, 2021.

Black Lives Matter

June 11, 2020

The members of the Department of Music express our strong support for those protesting in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. We are saddened and outraged by the systemic racism within the criminal justice system and in our society, and we believe immediate and substantive reform to policing practices and to the larger criminal justice system are urgently needed. We categorically oppose any militarized response to American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly. We stand with those seeking justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and the many other victims of racism and violence. We believe that we all have an important role to play in actively opposing systemic racism and as educators and music practitioners we are obligated to use our voices and craft as instruments of much-needed change in our institutions and communities.

As music scholars and practitioners, we recognize that music can both perpetuate inequity and violence and also provide powerful responses to violence by giving voice to trauma, promoting justice and healing, and uniting communities in times of struggle. We choose to use the power of music to effect positive change. We stand with Black Americans, other communities of color and all who bravely resist injustices. We pledge to examine our curriculum, pedagogy, repertoire, hiring practices and mentoring protocols in light of this commitment and to undertake the necessary work of dismantling systems of oppression within our walls and beyond.

To our students:

The faculty of the Department of Music at the University of Nevada, Reno affirm our commitment to equality, justice and democracy in society, on campus and in our classrooms. We reject ideas and movements of inequality based on background or identity, whether visible or not.

We uphold the University's mission, which states that the University of Nevada, Reno "recognizes and embraces the critical importance of diversity" and "is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion, and accessibility” as we condemn white supremacist, anti-Semitic and racist thought and actions. We recognize that this type of thought is antithetical to our values and often endemic to our society and institutions. We pledge to understand and overcome it, including through our teaching, performance, scholarship and service.

As people who are dedicated to participating in a musical life, we are aware of how some voices have been silenced while others privileged. We want you, our students, to know that we are committed to creating a campus where all can learn. We welcome all members of our extended community regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic background and political or institutional affiliation. We are fully dedicated to promoting diverse voices and views as an academic and artistic department. The doors to our musical community are open to all students and we pledge to provide support and guidance to them in all possible ways.