Making the Case for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Orchestras offers concrete answers and practical resources that orchestras can use to advance anti-racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at all levels of their organizations. Developed in collaboration with a team of peers—orchestra musicians, music directors, board members, and staff—this guide is intended to help the orchestra field take action to become more inclusive and welcoming of all people and all differences.

Orchestras have a long history of discrimination, and Making the Case is offered amid America’s current reckoning with 400 years of oppression against Black people, underscored by the recent police killings and the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and Brown Americans. It follows the League’s Statement on Racial Discrimination issued in August 2020. And it’s just the first of tools with concrete solutions that the League will offer to support orchestras on their journeys toward antiracism and equity. Watch for the upcoming re-launch of the League’s online EDI Resource Center as well as an EDI guide for orchestra boards planned for release in May 2021. And there will be more to come—EDI and antiracism work requires patience, practice, and continuing education.

“Diversity is not our problem, it’s our promise. It’s our promise because it leads to unparalleled heights of creativity, expression, and excellence. It’s our promise because it leads to higher performing and more sustainable institutions. And it’s our promise because it allows us to live by our democratic ideals of fairness and equality.”

The Honorable Elijah Cummings, speaking at the League of American Orchestras 2016 National Conference

Banner: Conductor and Music Director Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony. Photo courtesy of Oakland Symphony.


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