Black Lives Matter. The community of artists and educators in the Shepherd University School of Music has watched with pain as brutal acts of violence continue to be perpetrated against people of color. The SoM stands against systemic racism and all acts of injustice and violence committed in its name. We stand with our Black students, colleagues, collaborators, patrons, community members, and friends. Your lives matter.
Music and the arts have long been on the frontlines of social change and will continue to do so in this time of deep division and pain. We will offer our creative energies to make works that offer opportunities to express, learn, and ultimately, heal. We will continue to build an inclusive, equitable, and accessible community for all people.
To that end, we also recognize the Whiteness of our music curriculum in the School of Music. Like many music institutions, our classes, ensembles, and experiences often center around music from the Western European tradition and its derivatives. Music of other cultures, including Black culture, is given little attention as compared with the music of White dominant cultures. The music studied here may often bear limited resemblance to the musical experiences of our Black students and community members. With this in mind, the faculty of the School of Music pledges to examine and revise our offerings to include Black music and music of other cultures. We also pledge to continue our tradition of understanding and celebrating each person’s unique musical experiences that make up who they are as students, artists, and individuals. Black Lives Matter.