Working towards inclusion
This past year musical exploration in the department has included the new “Do the Work Wednesdays” series and Anti-Racism Resources page. Through this series’ twenty-nine installments, the department has highlighted the incredible lives of great artists of color, examined issues of racial justice in the music industry and music education, and challenged readers to expand their repertoires and “do the work.”
These features were contributed by undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They aimed to be a discussion of ways that we can all actively be anti-racist in our musical studies and performance and to learn more about the musical artists whose voices have gone underrepresented for far too long. The resources and artist features alternated Wednesdays, but we believe that there was often overlap between the two. The best anti-racism efforts come not just with readings and performances, but with engagement and action. We encouraged discussion of the series amongst peers, in the classroom, and asked for the department community to hold us accountable. The full series can be viewed at music.unc.edu/dww-series.
We believe anti-racism must be a community effort led by individual action. Because of this belief, as a department, we also updated our mission statement this year to include our previously separate diversity statement as a part of our core mission. We hope this new mission statement will serve as a reminder each day of what we’re all here striving to accomplish and create.
Through our study, teaching, research, creativity, and administration, the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shares music’s multiplicity of forms and meanings, connecting the study of music to the larger understanding of the world, and affirming music’s importance as an expression of humanity across differences. We engage with all students, colleagues, patrons, and musical repertories with respect and humility, and with an awareness of the privilege and power that comes with being associated with a university, particularly a historically and predominantly white institution. The Department of Music is thus committed to being inclusive in its mission, vision, and values.
Anti-discrimination, anti-racism, and efforts to promote equity broadly speaking are integral to, and instrumental within, the operation of our mission. Our faculty, students, and staff espouse the idea that all groups are equal, and support policies that reduce inequality and promote equity in the study of music across color, ability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, and veteran status.
Our vision is to bring to life the vital and vibrant role of music within all lived experience, challenging ourselves, our peers, and our communities to engage in meaningful experiential and contextual interpretations of music, while actively including all who seek to embrace the study of music at UNC and fostering skills to engage cogent conceptions across music traditions and their cultures.
We value and uphold an inclusive, anti-discriminatory, and anti-racist department and campus where we openly explore music and its various roles across cultures. We value teaching our students, at all levels, the skills necessary to support the investigation and presentation of all musical arts in our communities. We value each student’s as well as each staff and faculty member’s well-being, and make curricular and hiring decisions that uphold our commitment to inclusivity, anti-discrimination, and anti-racism. We value our faculty’s contributions to creative activity, research, teaching, and the profession that make lasting differences in and to our fields whether by way of our own achievements or through empowering those with longer futures still in store. We value decision-making that expands the diversity of the department faculty, students, staff, and offerings; that celebrates what makes us purposeful; that embraces new ideas to shape our future; and recognizes that the new builds on a critical awareness of the old in all its systemic defects and artistic accomplishments.
Learn more about the department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and available resources at music.unc.edu/about/diversity.