Institutional racism and systemic oppression against the Black community are rampant in the United States. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, and other innocent and unarmed Black individuals at the hands of police brutality are sobering reminders that we still live in a country where Black people are routinely abused because of the color of their skin.
WA-ACDA recognizes and owns its failure to serve and uphold members of the Black community as well as its promotion of repertoire, procedures, and values that uphold the White dominant culture.
- WA-ACDA is complicit in promoting musical traditions centered in Western Europe while marginalizing and appropriating musical traditions of other cultures
- WA-ACDA recognizes that events it sponsors have not addressed racial injustices
- WA-ACDA acknowledges that the underrepresentation of Black musicians within our membership and practice is due to years of negligence and failure to reexamine long-standing practices and assumptions
The board and members of WA-ACDA are therefore committed to the following actions:
The WA-ACDA Board will become a proactive and intentionally anti-racist board that critically and continuously examines all areas of its policies and procedures by:
- Examining the reasons Black voices are not acknowledged in our organization
- Advancing racial equity agenda items at each of its board meetings
- Financially compensating experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion to educate the board
- Modeling respectful language absent of microaggressions
- Nominating and electing Black voices to leadership positions
- Directing funds to organizations that center racial equity in music education
- Including interest sessions, written materials, and other resources to help members of WA-ACDA identify, understand, and rectify racial injustice
The WA-ACDA Membership will:
- Have the courage to lean into discomfort and hold each other accountable when engaging in conversations about race
- Amplify the voices of the Black community while recognizing it is not the responsibility of the Black community to educate White people about racial injustice
- Reach out to conductors who have felt unwelcome in WA-ACDA because of race and encourage these conductors to become members and leaders of WA-ACDA
- Cull the choral and vocal canon of racist repertoire
- Program choral compositions of all styles written by Black composers
- Incorporate culturally-responsive teaching practices
WA-ACDA stands in solidarity with the Black community. WA-ACDA will speak up, educate, and fight to ensure a just, equitable future for choral music in our state.