Equity & Inclusion

Diversity is inherent in music and essential to its future.

As the largest community music school in the nation, MacPhail Center for Music has a responsibility to create real and substantive social change in music education.

Our mission is to transform lives and strengthen communities through music learning experiences that inspire. We believe it is our duty to not only address and help correct the historic exclusion of students, faculty, performers, and composers from diverse populations, but to forge a new, equitable and inclusive path forward.

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Our Commitment

MacPhail Center for Music has the opportunity and responsibility to play a key role in rebuilding and contributing to substantive societal change. It is our duty to be intentional in the inclusion and celebration of students, teachers, performers, and composers from historically excluded populations.

The principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are inherent in music education and essential to its future. For MacPhail, this means living in alignment with our core values and mission every single day.  

We are dedicated to sustainable and systemic change in our programs, practices, and daily work with the communities we serve. This is forever work, and our ongoing goal is continuous transformation as an institution, and intentional equity and inclusion in our work.

Read more from Roque Diaz, MacPhail Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Teacher and student playing a drum

Our Plan

  1. Develop and Implement Community Support Initiatives to Share Resources
  2. Diversify MacPhail Leadership, Faculty and Staff
  3. Provide Resources for Professional Growth to Support an Increasingly Diverse Community
  4. Create and Share Inclusive Music Education Curriculum for Students of all Backgrounds
  5. Develop, Fund and Launch New MacPhail Programs and Initiatives

Equity & Inclusion Leadership

Roque Diaz, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a first-generation Puerto Rican college graduate who passionately advocates for more inclusive, culturally diverse, and relevant music education. Roque is a PhD candidate in Music Education at the University of Minnesota and was recently named a 2020 BUSH Fellow and an American Express NGen Leadership Academy Fellow. As a trumpeter he has performed with major international orchestras and continues to perform orchestral, chamber, contemporary, Latin, jazz and other music. More…

Christopher Rochester, Director of the Global Music Initiative (GMI) is a musician, educator, and composer. Chris was exposed to many Black American cultural practices during his youth and was fortuanate enough to be able to quickly understand how much influence that culture plays in music. He has a wonderful ability to both perform and teach in a way that shines light on the cultural influences of Black American traditions. More…

MacPhail’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Providing direction and oversight for MacPhail’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, the committee establishes organizational goals, activities to reach desired outcomes, and determines how successes will be measured.

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Jakkee Phillips
Student Services Assistant Manager
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Kyle Carpenter
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Paul Babcock
President and COO
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Tamara Gonzalez
Suzuki DaCapo and Sinfonia Orchestra Conductor, Ascension Catholic School Conductor & MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra Sectional Coach
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Dr. Roque Diaz
Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
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Timothy De Prey
Director of Individual Instruction
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Kristen Blue
Vice President of Human Resources
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Dr. Sara Langmead
Piano Faculty
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Rachel Hickman
Online School Partnerships Manager
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Syne Barr
Social Media and Graphic Design Coordinator
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Joe Kaiser
Cello Faculty

Recent Activities

Equity & Inclusion Shared Terminology

The terminology around diversity, equity and inclusion is broad and still growing. Therefore, a common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or ableist language is needed at MacPhail.

student playing a Korean drum

Global Music Initiative

MacPhail’s Global Music Initiative (GMI), guided by experts in music pedagogy, works to create inclusive curricula, teaching methods, and performance opportunities outside of the classical canon that represent people of color, the LGBTQ+ community and women.

This approach to music instruction fosters innovation and cultural equity and welcomes the contributions of all styles and traditions.

GMI Artist in Residence

The GMI Artist-in-Residence Program offers 8-month residencies at MacPhail Center for Music to foster cultural change in our communities through passion and creativity in music. Believing that supporting and investing in diverse voices challenges current ideas of music education pedagogy, this program is a commitment to become a deeply anti-racist organization by giving diverse voices a platform to share their creative stories, challenge ideas, and question the nature of existence.

Selected recipients are provided artistic and educational opportunities to promote a culturally thriving tomorrow.

GMI Pedagogical Advisory Committee

The PAC brings together predominantly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) music educators with expertise in music styles and related pedagogy from non-dominant cultures in and outside of the Eurocentric canon. They will provide advice and guidance on the innovation and development of MacPhail’s programs to become culturally relevant and sustaining to reflect the diversity of the communities that we serve.  

GMI Student Advisory Committee

Coming soon!

MacPhail’s Equity & Inclusion work is made possible in part by support from the following funders:

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