Student Diversity Initiatives
The Juilliard School is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for all members of the community inclusive of race, ethnicity, national origin, culture, language, gender and gender expression, sexuality, religious and political beliefs, age, and ability. The school stands against all forms of discrimination, whether directed against individuals or groups.
As a part of this dedication, numerous trainings and programs are provided to students addressing equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Learn more about our institutional EDIB efforts
The land on which The Juilliard School stands has been home to people for thousands of years. We acknowledge that we are on the traditional homeland of the Lenape people. Juilliard honors and respects the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this land on which we gather.
Diversity Dialogues are a series of discussions held monthly on varying topics related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Each month focuses on a different theme ranging from discussions on race/ethnicity, sex/gender/sexuality, religion/faith/spirituality, socioeconomic status, and much more. The goal is to provide a safe space for different viewpoints to be heard while discussing complicated and difficult topics. Each Diversity Dialogue counts as a Foundations Program under the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging credit. The Diversity Dialogues for the academic year 2023-24 are:
- September 13: Passing: Racial and Gender Stereotypes
- October 11: Classical Cannons
- November 15: IEW: Cross Cultural Communication
- December 13: More than Just Christmas
- February 14: What is Beauty?
- March 20: OASDS Program: Disability in the Arts
- April 10: Hidden Costs
You can also download our full Diversity Dialogue schedule:
Each semester, a Diversity Symposium will be held on campus for those who wish to learn more about the complex subject of diversity. This retreat aims to build skills for members of the Juilliard community that will make them more socially aware of the impact that they have on campus and in the world around them, as well as give provide the skills needed to become thought leaders and artists as global citizens. Topics such as race/ethnicity, gender/sex/sexuality, dis/ability, social economic status, and others will be covered during the symposium through lecture and interactive workshops.
You can download the flyers for Diversity Symposiums here:
Safe Zone is a campus-wide program designed to visibly identify students, staff, and faculty peers who support the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex, asexual, and other identities not fitting into these categories) population; understand some of the issues facing LGBTQIA+ individuals; and are aware of the various LGBTQIA+ resources. The Safe Zone training is an interactive and exploratory workshop that provides a foundation of knowledge to be an effective ally to the LGBTQIA+. Campus-wide trainings are offered throughout the year, but training sessions can be arranged for individual groups if requested.
After Safe Zone training, students, faculty, and staff can display a Safe Zone sign on their lockers, desks, residence hall doors, or office doors. This signifies support for the LGBTQIA+ community and identifies those who display the sign as advocates and/or allies who can be safely approached for support or guidance. A current list of Juilliard community members who have gone through the training can be found here: Safe Zone List.
For more information about Juilliard’s Safe Zone program or for a customized program, contact Diversity Initiatives at [email protected] or 212-799-5000, ext. 358.
Diversity Advocates (DAs) work with the Office of International Advisement to recognize issues of diversity and inclusion which impact the Juilliard community. Through cultural and educational programs, community forums, and informal interactions, DAs work to educate the larger campus community on issues pertaining to diversity, culture, internationalism, and social justice. DAs help to create a safe space in which potentially sensitive or uncomfortable issues can be discussed and addressed while also creating an environment in which diversity and culture can be celebrated and enjoyed. They are committed to building bridges between groups; developing understanding, appreciation, and respect; and celebrating the diversity of the Juilliard community.
In addition to co-facilitating the diversity sessions at New Student Orientation and OIA's monthly Diversity Dialogues, the DAs are responsible for providing services that contribute to a broader understanding of diversity. Additionally, the DAs help Juilliard celebrate Heritage Months and International Education Week by creating active and passive programs throughout the academic year. Examples of past programs include alumni panels focused on race and gender in the performing arts, viewings of social justice oriented documentaries followed by in-depth discussions, and opportunities to experience a wide-range of cultures through food tastings, dance, music, and visual arts.
DAs recognize that they do not have all the answers; however, they are committed to increasing multicultural awareness and knowledge for themselves and their peers. They encourage an environment of openness for questions regarding age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religious affiliation, and gender.
To find current DA programs and events, please check out the Juilliard Campus Life App under “Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging”.
2022-2023 Diversity Advocates
Gracie Francis (DMA ’26, collaborative piano)
Sahana Shravan (MM ’25, violin)
Nyoka Wotorson (BFA ’24, dance)
Teresa Mejias (BM ’25, viola)
Rohan Srinivasan (BM ’25, composition)
What is a gender pronoun?
A gender pronoun is used to refer to people in sentences and conversations. There are many different gender pronouns that can be used. Commonly, the binaries of she/her/hers and he/him/his have been used. Using the nonbinary they/them/theirs as a singular pronoun is recognized by many publications, including the Chicago Manual of Style (whose style Juilliard uses), Washington Post, Merriam-Webster, and Associated Press.
Why is this important?
Gender should not be assumed based on outward appearance. When someone is referred to by the incorrect pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected and invalidated. The New York City Commission on Human Rights recognizes 31 different gender identities or gender expressions, and Facebook allows users to put in custom gender identity as it is increasingly important to be aware of how we address each other. At Juilliard, our mission is to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all identities. Should you wish to discuss this further, you can look for the Safe Zone ally placards around campus (full list above).
What are some examples of gender pronouns?
Gender pronouns can vary; below are just a few examples. Please note that this is a small sample of pronouns and that you should use whatever pronouns a particular individual requests.
Taylor ate her food because she was hungry.
Taylor ate his food because he was hungry.
Taylor ate their food because they were hungry.
Taylor at xyr food because xe was hungry.
Taylor ate zir food because ze was hungry.
Taylor ate hir food because ze was hungry.
Taylor ate Taylor’s food because Taylor was hungry.
How do you ask someone about their pronouns?
The easiest thing to do is start with your own pronouns. You can say, “Hello, my name is Taylor and I use they/them/theirs pronouns.” By starting the conversation this way, it allows the other person to provide their own pronouns in a nonthreatening way.
Alternatively, you can ask: "What are your gender pronouns?" or "Which pronouns do you use?" or "Can you remind me which pronouns you use for yourself?" Asking people about their gender pronouns has become commonplace in LGBTQIA+ and safe-space communities. Outside of those communities, asking someone about their gender pronouns can be greatly appreciated instead of making assumptions about someone's gender pronouns.
When in doubt, it is best to use neutral pronouns like they/them/theirs.
What if I make a mistake and use the wrong pronoun?
It’s OK! People make mistakes all the time. The best thing to do if you accidentally misgender someone (call them by the wrong gender pronoun) is to quickly apologize and continue the conversation with the correct pronouns. It can be as simple as this: “Taylor is joining us for lunch. She—sorry, they—said that they wanted tacos.”
If you’ve misgendered someone, it’s best to not make a big deal about it because that can make the person feel even more awkward.
If you hear someone using the incorrect pronoun, you can be a good ally by gently saying something like, “Taylor uses the pronouns they/their/theirs” and then continuing the conversation.
How do you address someone when you aren’t sure which gender pronoun to use?
When addressing emails or letters, if you are unsure of how to address a person in a formal way, one option might be to use Mx. (pronounced mix) instead of Ms./Mrs./Mr. However, if the person you are addressing has a doctorate, you should always address them with Dr. instead of any of the Ms./Mrs./Mr./Mx variations.
You may also wish to include your own pronouns in your correspondences. For example, at the bottom of your email signature, you can put a short statement such as: My gender pronouns: they/them/theirs or My gender pronouns: she/her/hers.
What about safety?
Sometimes an individual may not want to disclose their gender identity due to concerns about safety. It is important to respect their wishes and allow the individual to not disclose. Additionally, it is not appropriate to only ask for pronouns for individuals who you suspect may be trans* or gender noncomforming. This could uncomfortably single them out. The best practice is to ask everyone in the group for their gender pronouns, but only in a safe setting.
As Juilliard continues to create the most affirming and inclusive campus we can, we are clarifying the chosen name policy. This policy will allow any Juilliard community member to choose a first name other than their legal name, and have that name used in as many ways and places as possible. You can read the entire policy on the Policies and Consumer Information page. To learn more about the procedures to change a chosen name in the Juilliard system, you can read the Chosen Name Policy FAQs or stop by the Registrar’s Office (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff).