Our Commitment to ADEI Work at Preparatory Music at Holy Names University

As members of a society that is reckoning with a climate of intolerance and inequity and a history of structural and institutionalized racism and discrimination that continues to harm our world, Preparatory Music has the responsibility to be a leader in efforts to advance accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion internally throughout our organization, and externally through our programming.

We have begun this work from multiple angles, and there is more to be done.

Why are we doing this?

Bias and discrimination begin in childhood. We learn how to be racist, sexist, ageist – we learn all isms – in our society and other environments. As teachers and leaders in education, we are positioned to shape our immediate culture to be one of inclusion, equity and accessibility, whether by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or age.

We have lived with and participated in – knowingly or unknowingly – discrimination and the perpetuation of bias and inequity for far too long. It is not acceptable to continue living the same way any longer. We have passed a turning point and there is no going back. Every individual has the responsibility to be aware and to change, to “be the change we want to see”. Music is a powerful tool for communication, for learning, and for healing.

Where are we now?

Here is an “equity audit” of our program at this moment:

  • Family demographics reflect 55% are non-white
  • Staff demographics reflect 40% are non-white: 2 emigrated from Latin America; 1 Black, 12 Asian

What are we doing now?

  • Starting in the summer of 2020, a repository for articles, books, podcasts, Ted Talks and interviews was created and shared with teachers to use in personal journeys of consciousness-raising.
  • September 27, 2020 a mandatory PD session was provided (Racial Consciousness in the Community Music School) for all teachers.
  • Three opportunities were provided teachers:
    1. A gathering and sharing of instrument-specific music composed by non-
      white and/or female composers
    2. A shared reading of the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the
      Brain by Zaretta Hammond
    3. A facilitated discussion focusing on how we teachers are adapting our teaching in response to our personal work around racism and discrimination and discussion of the shared reading
    4. Holy Names University has been providing monthly forums on anti-racism and inclusion to which all staff and faculty are invited (including Prep Music instructors)
    5. Holy Names University is requiring three bias/anti-racism trainings this spring for all HNU staff and faculty (including Prep Music instructors)

What are our next steps?

We have further work to do in multiple directions: the hiring of staff, the allocation of resources, culturally responsive teaching, an awareness of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We also will be inviting community members – teachers, students and parents – to join us in creating our ADEI Statement.

We thank our community for their continued support of our program. May we provide the musical community you all deserve.

Katherine Baird, Director


Phone: (510) 436-1224
Phone HNU: (510) 436-1000
3500 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619
Our Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion WorkLearn More