The Department of Music stands in solidarity with the Call for Action put forward by the Black Students Union and a number of student associations on campus. We enacted changes in our grading and course requirements during Spring 2020, which will be extended through the duration of the pandemic. These changes include postponing, waving, and making optional a number of requirements, ultimately resulting in a no-failing environment.
The Department of Music will embrace a renewed commitment to social justice and educational inclusion, focusing especially on the myriad ways in which Black communities have been marginalized throughout the turbulent history of the United States. We will actively be seeking Black artists for the Department of Music events, including our scholarly series, lectures, and concerts in the ARTS facilities, and our electronic music initiatives and songwriting camps at the EARS lab. We cordially invite the BSU and other student associations on campus to be part of this process. By so doing, we will engage with the future, a future in which the contributions of Black composers, scholars, and performers are honored and woven into the essential fabric of our Department.
Miyaxwe! In honor of Rupert and Jeanette Costo’s founding relationship to our campus, we would like to respectfully acknowledge and recognize our responsibility to the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air: the Cahuilla, Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano peoples, and all of their descendants past, present, and future. Today this meeting place is home to many Indigenous peoples from all over the world, including UCR faculty, students, and staff, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on these homelands.
The Music Department also acknowledges that it was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples. This acknowledgment demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together here today, and join us in uncovering such truths at any and all public events.