The events of the past few weeks have been tragic and eye-opening. While we certainly do not have all the answers, the UMEA Executive Board commits to:
- better understanding the issues of diversity for our students and teachers
- creating a culture of openness, non-judgement, and acceptance
- listening more, to having more open discussions, and to further educating our members
- casting a wider net of diversity, inclusion, equity, and access for our students and teachers
- creating a Diversity Advisory Committee (if you wish to be involved, contact: email@example.com)
The UMEA Executive Board
The UMEA Board of Directors endorses the NAfME Statement “Black Lives Matter”
From NAfME: What We Believe: Black Lives Matter
As a nation, we are hurting again. Still.
Racial injustice is real, and ongoing, and increasingly evident as COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black communities, and as we are again seeing videos of Black lives ending.
We see it. And we reiterate: Black Lives Matter.
We are listening. As teachers, we hear our students’ pain.
As the National Association for Music Education, we know that music is important in student lives–and we know that listening to music and making music are things that people do when they are experiencing strong emotions, including grief and anger. We know that the relationships we form in and through music mean that sometimes students turn to us when they are hurting. And we can say: I see you. I know this is wrong. If you want to talk, I am here.
Martin Luther King, Jr., in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, cautioned against preferring “a negative peace (the absence of tension) to a positive peace (the presence of justice)” and went on to say “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
As an association, we are a community, cut from the same fabric, and collectively-human. We will strive for Dr. King’s “positive peace” through non-violence and courageous conversation. We are committed to learning more about racial injustice, standing in solidarity, and supporting justice within music education and our country. We invite each of our members to join us in listening and learning.