Through our DEI initiatives, we explore, celebrate, and amplify diverse cultures and traditions. We also maintain our commitment to building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable workplace. 

Throughout the year:

  • We have been scrutinizing our hiring practices, recruitment methods, the events that we host, and the repertoire that we study, teach and perform. 
  • Our faculty/staff DEI training sessions this year focused on cultural humility and research methods for diversifying repertoire. 
  • Our Jazz Leaders Fellowship (an annual fellowship for black women/non-binary jazz artists) was awarded to two new recipients this summer, Melanie Charles and Miss Olithea! 
  • We have launched our biannual demographic and sentiment surveys for students/families, staff/faculty, our board, and partner sites; the information gathered from these surveys give us a better idea of any shifts in the make-up of our organization as well as how people feel about BKCM’s DEI efforts.

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 to give feedback, suggestions or join the conversation.

Hi! I’m Uton.

Welcome to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page! And welcome to the conversation and the process. I have been with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for seven years as a teaching artist, and I am happy to serve as the current Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in my second year. My goal in this work is to expand the scope of BKCM’s practices, organization wide. Whether that means the repertoire we teach, the audience and/or community we reach, how we go about hiring and recruiting candidates, or the events that we curate and produce, DEI at BKCM wishes to examine the entire organization and its community and strives to be as fair, equitable, accessible, welcoming and inclusive as possible. I am always willing to have conversations, so please feel free to reach out if you have any thoughts or questions that you’d like to share. DEI work, in my opinion, is strengthened when diverse voices are heard and involved in shaping our shared future. 

DEI-Focused Events

Tahira Clayton leads a workshop that teaches history through music through the lens of Protest and Freedom Songs. Participants learned about and sang Protest and Freedom Songs from Antebellum through the Civil Rights Movement, including famous pieces such as “This Little Light Of Mine”, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody”, “Kumbaya”, and more.

Lions dance for the crowd during our annual Lunar New Year event. Families from all backgrounds joined BKCM for an afternoon of traditional and contemporary music, a performance of the lion dance, crafts, and calligraphy

Four of our previous Jazz Leaders Fellows perform at our annual Midsummer Nights concert series. The Jazz Leaders Fellowship provides Black women and Black non-binary jazz musicians with resources to further develop their craft and pursue projects that advance their careers.

Statements & Resources

BKCM DEI Newsletters