Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

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)


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!


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