The “Ithaca Forever” strategic plan for our college charges us to “become a national model for colleges committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

As we boldly state in the Ithaca College School of Music value statement, “We are committed to embracing diversity in all of its forms and manifestations. We are committed to creating a safe and nurturing space for differentness in all of its expressions, a community in which ‘I am unique’ and ‘we are one’ concur.” We believe that it is important to be transparent and communicative about how we are in alignment with these statements, and to be transparent about how we are not.

Our community is increasingly aware of its responsibility to address issues relating to racism on our campus and in the larger world of music. We take this work seriously and are taking action to create a more inclusive environment for our students, faculty, staff, and the greater Ithaca community.

Before moving forward, we understand that we must acknowledge the truths of the past that have brought us to this moment.


  • We recognize that our School of Music, like most conservatories and institutions of higher education in the United States, is rooted in the framework of white supremacy. We are committed to having uncomfortable discussions about our history and the role that we have played to contribute to and uphold systems of oppression.
  • Our institution, founded as Ithaca Conservatory, was designed to preserve and pass on a relatively narrow portion of Western classical music. Despite an evolving musical landscape and changing demands on music teachers and artists, our School has been resistant to expanding offerings. Many of these resistances still exist today.
  • Students, faculty, and staff have come forward on multiple occasions over the past decades to voice concerns about the culture, curriculum, and policies of our School of Music. Many of these concerns have not been effectively addressed. We regret this lack of action and are looking forward to fully addressing these issues from now on.

Structural Action-Steps/Changes - Ongoing Initiatives

To thoughtfully and effectively better ourselves as a School of Music, the faculty voted to create an Anti-Racism standing committee. Thus far, the committee has decided to organize their work into three categories: Pedagogy, Policy, and Presentation.

  • Pedagogy – the Anti-Racism committee will help advise faculty looking to  create learning spaces that are more inclusive.
  • Policy – The Anti-Racism committee will review policies in the School of Music and work with the students, faculty, and administration to make recommendations to create a more inclusive community.
  • Presentation – The Anti-Racism committee will evaluate how the School of Music presents itself, both within the Whalen Center and in the digital world.

School of Music Antiracism Committee Members