Diversity & Inclusion
The Music Department’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee is the committee responsible for implementing Brown University’s 2016 Action Plan entitled Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion at the departmental level. The action plan acknowledged that “institutions of higher education, including Brown, have traditionally failed to fully include people of all races, ethnicities, creeds, socioeconomic classes, gender identities, sexual orientations, and disability statuses.” It outlined steps that could be taken to remediate past practices at the university-wide level, and it charged departments with the task of transforming policies, structures, and practices that have led to the exclusion of community members within those departments.
In this capacity, the music department’s DIAP committee welcomes comments, concerns, and suggestions about the departmental environment, pertaining to issues of diversity and inclusion. It also takes action as needed to remediate and inform community members about matters of concern. The committee hears about these matters through private communication and open forums that are held each academic year; meets regularly as a body, to discuss ways in which the department might address things that are brought before the committee; makes recommendations for the implementation of policies and best practices regarding diversity & inclusion; and communicates the results of those discussions to the faculty and the department as a whole. The committee’s members are drawn annually from among the department’s undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff.
Current Committee Members
Professor Marc Perlman, Committee chair
Professor Todd Winkler
Bonnie Jones, PhD candidate
Inga Chinilina, PhD candidate
Jay Loomis, PhD candidate
Alan Zdon, undergraduate student
Nicholas Huang, undergraduate student
Amy Prisco, Dept of Music staff member
Please note: if you have experienced a serious incident that requires immediate action, including discrimination, harassment (non-sexual), or sexual harassment, you should contact appropriate university officials as soon as possible. Please visit the website of Brown’s Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity to learn about university resources and staff who are there to help you in such situations. You can also file an incident report via that office’s online form, which is located here.
If you have thoughts or concerns about matters related to Diversity & Inclusion within the department, and are not sure where else you might raise them, there are several ways that you can do so. For instance, you should feel free to approach individual committee members. Committee members will bring such matters to the full committee in anonymous fashion, and the committee will keep its discussions in strict confidence. Once the DIAP committee understands your concern, and has discussed ways to address or remediate it, its recommendations will be referred to faculty, staff, student body, and/or administration, as appropriate. You may also attend one of the committee’s open forums and raise your concerns there, if you feel that is the best way to address them.
There are also several ways you can contact the committee electronically, some of which are designed to maintain your anonymity.
You may send an email to the committee’s shared email address. Your message will be received by all current members of the DIAP committee, who will take up your communication at a subsequent committee meeting. Please note that this is not an anonymous method of communication. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may submit information anonymously via a Google form, which is also accessible to all current members of the DIAP committee. This form does not collect your personal information, meaning that the committee will not be able to respond personally to your message, unless you choose to identify yourself. However, the committee will take up your communication at a subsequent meeting. The feedback form.
Finally, if you would prefer to submit comments in written form, you can always send a message via campus mail. In this case, please address your envelope as follows:
Music Department DIAP Committee – Confidential
Brown University Box 1924
Young Orchard Ave.
Providence RI 20912
In fall 2012, the Music Department underwent an external review that offered some useful guidelines for re-envisioning our future. The visiting committee expressed enthusiasm for the current state of the department, while imagining what would be possible after a series of impending retirements. They recommended strongly that, following the retirement of long serving faculty, we should take the opportunity to integrate the seemingly disparate areas of scholarship—musicology, ethnomusicology, composition, computer music, theory, and performance. They also pointed out the lack of diversity in the department:
The music concentrator population at Brown, as is the case at many peer institutions, is considerably less diverse than the general Brown population in terms of race and ethnicity, and to a lesser extent, gender. The diversity of the student population in the concentration is also not in keeping with the diversity and breadth of the curriculum.
In addition to suggestions for diversifying the faculty, a major recommendation of the external review was for the department to develop more pathways into the concentration—to make the concentration more inclusive and to support students who come to campus without a background in Western Classical Music.
Shortly thereafter, Brown University began implementing an ambitious plan to make its campus more diverse and inclusive. Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University, also known as the DIAP, was developed over the fall of 2015 with broad campus participation, and was approved by the Brown University Corporation in February 2016.
The Department of Music DIAP Committee held its first meeting in March 2017.