Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Our Statement on Pride Month

Happy Pride from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music! We at the Conservatory remain committed to providing a safe and affirming space for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are once again excited to join Brooklyn Pride’s Family Movie Night at the Old Stone House tonight, Friday, June 10th at 7pm, where we will lead a singalong of songs from the movie “Sing.” The event is free and open to the public.

As we celebrate this month and the strides that have been made in the struggle for equality, inclusivity and equal rights, we also acknowledge both the events and people that paved the way and the many challenges that remain. The LGBTQIA+ community continues to face high rates of violence; Black trans women in particular face extremely high rates of violence. Laws are being passed throughout the country that attempt to dismantle gender-affirming care and attack the existence of the community. There is a long way still to go.

Pride is a month to celebrate the achievements, acknowledge the struggles, and honor the resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community. We ask that you join us in continuing the work, whether as members of the community or as allies to the community, of ensuring a safer and more secure world for LGBTQIA+ people.

BKCM Statement on the 5/14 Buffalo Tragedy

We are saddened by the tragedy that occurred in Buffalo this past Saturday and appalled at the repulsive act of terror and the words that preceded it. The violent act continues a troubling national trend of violence against Black Americans and non-white groups, exacerbated by public figures who stoke the flames of hostility and resentment through their own words and actions. BKCM unequivocally rejects and condemns all words and acts of hatred. We remain committed to continuing to broaden the scope of our own DEI process and ensuring that the Conservatory remains a safe and welcoming space for all. Below is a link to GoFundMe’s page dedicated to the victims of Saturday’s tragedy. 

Click here to go to the GoFundMe page and donate.

Resources for conversations with young people:

Anti-Defamation League: The Horrific Mass Shooting in Buffalo: How to Talk with Young People

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

Links about the troubling rise of hate crime numbers:

New York Times article about rising hate crimes:

Equal Justice Initiative (from Sep 2021)

Hi,

My name is Uton, and I’m proud to be the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. BKCM’s ongoing DEI work has been a years-long process and journey. The DEI Working Group has been integral to shaping the way that the conservatory has developed DEI-based initiatives and actions. The working group welcomes and is comprised of members from all sectors of the conservatory, whether staff, faculty, the board, students, parents, or community members, and all who are interested are welcome to attend our 5/23 meeting, where we will be detailing our DEI efforts over the last few years as well as looking forward to the work to come in the future. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at uton.onyejekwe@bkcm.org or action@bkcm.org or if interested!

Sincerely,
Uton

March 4, 2022

To the BKCM Community,

As shocking and senseless acts of violence locally and around the world escalate, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) acknowledges the intense sorrow and pain that so many in our community are experiencing. From violent anti-Asian attacks in New York City to the war in Ukraine, it seems like each day brings more confusion and devastation. Alongside the ongoing pandemic – which has introduced layers of trauma over the past two years – these cataclysmic events can feel so much harder to endure.

Please know – we are here for our entire community. We stand in solidarity with all who are facing violence and persecution, here and around the world. BKCM will always strive to be a safe and affirming place for all people to come together and experience joy, creativity and healing through music.

In difficult times, music can be a source of uplift, of relief, of joy and hope. We invite you to join us for one of our many March music events. The talents of our incredible performers are sure to provide some light in these dark times. You’re also invited to join us any day of the year in the BKCM Garden – a safe public space where all are welcome to sit, relax and enjoy the music coming from our building.

We hope that you are all taking the space and care you need at this time and that you will reach out to us at action@bkcm.org if there is anything we at BKCM can do. For those seeking resources – for your children or yourselves – regarding how to cope with these difficult events, please visit bkcm.org/dei. There you can also learn more about how we are working to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

As the week draws to a close, we at BKCM wish you a peaceful weekend.

In hope and solidarity,

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

 

 

BKCM engaged in a process of honestly and critically examining how we can more fully integrate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into our organization.

As such, we’ve identified the need to transform ourselves into a more equitable and diverse organization. With a great deal of intentionality, we are taking a DEI lens to our leadership, board of trustees, marketing, curriculum, hiring practices, recruitment efforts, individual program cultures and broader institutional culture. This process impacts every facet of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Our DEI work happens every day, in big and small ways, throughout our organization. Teachers incorporate a more representative array of performers in their curriculum. Suzuki teachers expand the program’s repertoire to include more BIPOC composers. All of our music therapists completed a six-week anti-bias training through the Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso. Our Music Therapy program has also been hosting a series of DEI-focused continuing education trainings.

While much remains to be done, we are making progress. Efforts like these illustrate how the formal DEI process is helping to grow our collective understanding, challenge our assumptions and foster cultural change across our organization.

Contact us at action@bkcm.org to give feedback, suggestions or join the conversation.

Newsletter Archive

BKCM sends out periodic DEI newsletters with updates and resources