Statement of Solidarity
Southern Washington and Oregon Kodály Educators stands in solidarity with those fighting against this country’s long history of racism and oppression. We are committed to challenging the systemic problems that continue to allow violence and harm against People of Color, in general, and Black and Indigenous People, in particular. We affirm Black Lives Matter.
Music is powerful. We are charged to teach it and use it in a way that will build communities where justice and compassion are at the center. SWOKE calls on membership to support all the students they teach along with their families and communities, inside and outside of the music classroom. SWOKE commits to providing support and resources to further our collective work to dismantle injustice and promote anti-racism in our profession, our communities, our country, and the world. We recognize that our members are entering the conversation and the work from various points of view, backgrounds, and experiences. We welcome everyone to the conversation and the work with grace and with the understanding that we will all make mistakes and are doing our best to move forward together. As your elected board, we commit to the following actions and to providing resources to engage in this work. We invite you, our members, to join us.
Removing all songs that intentionally or unintentionally belittle, marginalize, or do harm to people or have any roots in racism from our song collections, and helping our colleagues to do the same.
Lifting up composers and conductors who are BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ by promoting and programming their work, and hiring them as clinicians and guest conductors.
Building culturally responsive teaching practices that celebrate diversity, teach empathy, and build stronger communities in our classrooms and schools.
Examining the Kodály method and its usage, as well as our own organizational models, for historic and contemporary trends that have intentionally or unintentionally upheld a culture of oppression in music education and/or any lack of diversity among our membership, doing our part to correct and repair those trends, and encouraging our colleagues to do the same.