Dear Music Together Community,
I am rattled to my core over what’s been happening in our world recently, as I know so many of you are, too. The events of the past weeks have sparked a global conversation on racism that has left many of us wondering what happens next. What can we do to contribute to the change that’s so clearly needed?
At Music Together, our response to tragedies has always been rooted in the power of music to heal and connect, along with our wish for a more peaceful world. This heartfelt approach stems from our desire to be as inclusive as possible as we encourage everyone to see music as a universal language and our classrooms as safe spaces free of politics.
In the discussions I’ve had this week with Music Together staff, we have come to understand that it is time for us, as an organization, to take an even stronger stance against the systemic racism that has led to this cycle of violence against people of color and, in particular, the Black community. Silence is not acceptable. It is time for us to work harder to reveal, recognize, and remove the deep socioeconomic, political, and cultural systems that have supported racial injustice for far too long. Enough is enough.
In Music Together classes, we teach children and families of every race and nationality: We welcome all voices. Racism in any form has no place in our organization, and it never will, but saying that is no longer enough. We have to challenge ourselves to take action, to speak out, to take a stand, and I’m here to tell you that Music Together stands firmly with those seeking justice. Yes, we’re simply music educators, but we are also human beings, and as such, we will not remain silent while so many in our country are being brutalized.
Black lives matter.As some of you may know, over the past several years Music Together Worldwide has instituted a Song Advisory Board to ensure that our curriculum’s music is respectfully rendered and to guard against cultural appropriation in all its forms. That was one step.
Last fall, the entire staff at Music Together’s corporate headquarters participated in a full-day, on-site Diversity and Inclusion training so we could start to have the uncomfortable conversations that lead to awareness and change. That was another step.
This week, Music Together Worldwide made a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to support their efforts in fighting injustice. Is it enough? No, but it’s yet another step.
How many steps will it take? I wish I knew, but I DO know that doing nothing is how we got here. We will keep taking steps for as long as we have to. We will stand firm in our commitment to justice and equality in everything we do. And we pledge to continue the hard work toward becoming a truly anti-racist organization.
Susan Darrow, CEO
Music Together Worldwide