Honoring George Floyd and the Power of Music for Change

Remembering George Floyd’s life and the ongoing fight for justice.

This May, we remember George Floyd and his life’s impact on our community and the world. His death sparked a global call for change, and here at MacPhail, we are committed to using music as a force for unity, equity, and inclusion.

We remember George Floyd not just for his tragic end but for his life as a father, friend, and source of joy.

MacPhail is dedicated to using music to promote diversity and equity within MacPhail and beyond.

Please be kind to yourself. Allow yourself moments of rest and seek support when necessary. As a nurturing community, it is imperative that we actively engage with the stories and plights of our Black colleagues with empathy and compassion. It is equally important that we educate ourselves on the historical and current realities of racial injustice to become stronger allies.

We recommit ourselves to the fight for racial justice. We encourage you to watch “Lead the Change,” a video by our Global Music Initiatives Director (below) showcasing the power of music to create a more just world.

MacPhail Stands Committed

Our commitment over the past four years has laid the groundwork for change at MacPhail holding ourselves accountable as we strive to move forward. We acknowledge that our journey is ongoing. MacPhail Center for Music stands committed to memorializing George Floyd not just through words but through these five persistent actions.

Lead the Change video, directed by Christopher Rochester, narrated by LA Buckner

Painting of a person with fist raised and a crowd of people protesting in the background
Image Credit: “BLM Painting” by Sarina C.,

Roque's headshot

Roque Diaz, PhD

Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A first-generation Puerto Rican college graduate, Dr. Diaz has shaped his career goals and qualifications by combining leadership, administration, scholarship, teaching, and performance through nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and K-12 school teaching in multiple countries. Dr. Diaz joined MacPhail Center for Music as the Director of School Partnerships in 2018 and currently guides the Center’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as the Senior Director of DEI. Dr. Diaz’s journey as a historically excluded person of color in predominantly white spaces underlies his commitment to assuring more inclusive, culturally diverse, and relevant experiences through the lens of DEI. As a trumpeter, Dr. Diaz has performed with major international orchestras and continues to perform orchestral, chamber, contemporary, Latin, jazz, and other music. Read more

For questions, comments, or concerns, Roque can be reached at 612.321.0100 or email [email protected]

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