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Education Through Music Message of Solidarity

Message of Solidarity

June 9th, 2020

Education Through Music joins a chorus of voices around the world in mourning the tragic loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives at the hands of systemic racism and violence. We stand with and acknowledge the pain of the Black and Brown students, families, principals, music teachers, staff and leadership team members, and stakeholders in our community. We care about their safety and their right to live free from injustice. We believe Black lives matter.

While we bear witness to the events unfolding across the country, we are reminded of the urgency of our work.

As a music education organization serving more than 30,000 Black and Brown children in New York City, we know that education has a vital part to play in the pursuit of social justice.  Education is a civil rights issue at its very core. ETM exists because systemic racism has created inequities in access to education, and our mission was built around identifying and combating these inequities. We recognize the gaps in access faced by our partner school students result from generations of institutional oppression and discrimination.

ETM invests in under-resourced schools and supports local communities. We believe that providing equity and access for all students is the key to long-term, sustainable change. We recognize the important role that music has in the fight against fear and the search for understanding.

ETM does not make this statement lightly or without a tangible plan to back it up. We are proud of our staff’s work over the past 29 years, but we know we must do more. Much more. We must listen, learn, and act. Silence is not an option, nor is maintaining the status quo.

With this in mind, ETM is committed to:

  • Examining our internal diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and practices and finding ways to bring greater accountability and transparency to our work.
  • Engaging in open dialogue with our partner schools to better understand and align ourselves with their needs.
  • Using music to advance equity for marginalized and vulnerable students; bringing a social justice lens and a culturally responsive approach to classroom activities.
  • Training music educators and staff to support the lived experiences of students in Black and Brown communities.
  • Joining our peer organizations in advocating for systemic change and greater investment in education.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, ETM will remain committed to our mission. With so many of the challenges faced by our partner schools amplified by the global pandemic—which has disproportionately impacted Black communities—we know there is much to be done. We are proud to work alongside so many passionate supporters, partners, artists, and leaders to build a more equitable world through music.