Black Lives Matter

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.