Initiatives in Support of BIPOC Artists and Scholars

Initiatives in Support of BIPOC Artists and Scholars

In response to demonstrations against ongoing police brutality, racism, and other forms of systemic oppression of BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour] communities in North America, the University of Toronto has launched several initiatives:

In a recent statement, Don McLean, the current Dean of the Faculty of Music, noted some of the anti-racism initiatives that the Faculty of Music has undertaken, but admitted that “we must do much better going forward”. The Dean’s statement was in response to an impassioned and eloquent Call to Action letter that was signed by 372 alumni of the Faculty of Music. This is an issue that will elicit both bottom up and top down responses. Every one of us in the University of Toronto Faculty of Music community is responsible for reflecting upon how we can do our part to address past injustices and help to make the Faculty of Music an equitable, diverse, and welcoming community now and into the future. As the Director of the Institute for Music in Canada, I will continue to think about ways to contribute to this ongoing process of redress and reconciliation. The following initiatives are a starting point:

The mission statement of the IMC to date has been “Promoting, supporting, and producing scholarship in all areas of Canadian music studies.” The mission statement has now been changed to: “Promoting, supporting, and producing research and creativity in all areas of Canadian music studies by an inclusive and diverse representation of Canadian scholars and musicians, including historically underrepresented voices.”

The IMC will fund two annual $2,500 awards for research or creative projects involving music and the BIPOC community in Canada. One award will be for a research or creative project that has as its subject any aspect of the contributions of the BIPOC community to music in Canada. The other award will be for a BIPOC researcher or creative artist who is working on any project related to music in Canada. There is no deadline for applying for this award; for further details, write to me at robin.elliott@utoronto.ca. In addition to the monetary award, the IMC will assist in the research and/or creative process and in the communication of results arising from the funded project. Winners of the award will have the opportunity to present a lecture, concert, or other public event at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in connection with their research or creative project.

As the Director of the IMC I undertake to make equity and diversity central to all IMC activities, and will work with others to share ideas about best practices regarding these issues at the Faculty of Music. I will invite BIPOC speakers to share their experiences, expertise, and viewpoints with the Faculty of Music community.

I invite feedback on any aspect of these initiatives via email to robin.elliott@utoronto.ca.

 


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