Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

We are making progress to build an ever more diverse, inclusive environment where all artists can thrive, and our work is not done. We are striving to make sure every student can feel seen, heard, celebrated, and free to reach their full artistic potential. In the last three years we have created an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) program that is driving Juilliard’s work in this space and designated EDIB as a core value of the school’s Strategic Plan.

Juilliard’s Commitment

Juilliard is committed to the diversity of our community by fostering an environment that is inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all. In working toward this environment, we recognize that we must not only examine steps forward in our internal community but also address the institutional structures of systemic injustice that shape our industry. It is only through a central commitment to this work that we can fully deliver on our mission of providing the highest caliber of artistic education to students and actively shaping the future of the performing arts.  

Our path forward is meant to be holistic and intentional, with Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging included as a core value and priority of the school, as President Damian Woetzel shared in his inaugural message to the community July 2018, and further described in his first Convocation address in September 2018.

Below, you will find an outline of the EDIB initiative and work of the Taskforce, including the steps we have outlined so far, and the work ahead. The rollout of our strategic plan is still in progress, and we recognize that there is much work to be done listening and learning. It is in that spirit that we also include a resource list and feedback link below.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Juilliard

As an institution responsible for educating and developing student artists who are the future of the performing arts, we must understand the systemic factors that have historically contributed to inequities within Juilliard and beyond. Knowing this history and recognizing its impact on the present, and sharing that knowledge to unite the entire school in this work, allows us to move forward to reject racism.

We believe in the value of bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences. We view diversity and the broadening of perspectives as a strength, reflecting a growing body of social science literature demonstrating that welcoming and engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds in workplace and school settings improves productivity, creativity, and critical thinking. We will continue to encourage collaboration and innovation within our institution and beyond.

Our EDIB efforts are essential to our pursuit of excellence, both of which are core values in our long-term vision for the school. We work to continually reinforce our mission statement—Juilliard will uphold its commitment to the diversity of its community by fostering an environment that is inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all—by taking stock in the present and recognizing the ways needed to further develop our efforts.

 

Value Statements 

EDIB at Juilliard represents the following values:  

  • Fostering an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment for all.   

  • Endeavoring to provide fair treatment, access, and opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff. 

  • Building community, encouraging collaboration and innovation, and providing artistic and educational experiences at the highest level of excellence.  

  • Respecting diverse perspectives and fostering opportunities for broader dialogues and experiences. 

  • Embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and change as we further develop our EDIB work. 

  • Continued support, development, and launching of programming that embodies our commitment to EDIB. 

 

What does EDIB represent?

We use the acronym EDIB to describe our work, referring to our efforts to build a community that is inclusive, supportive, equitable, and welcoming. The following terms are used to capture our work:

Equity: Promoting fair treatment, access, and opportunity for advancement while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of all groups.

Diversity: Psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals; these include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, etc.

Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and be their full authentic selves.

Belonging: The sense of acceptance as a part or member of a group; an important human need that cultivates value and positive outcomes.  

EDIB Progress to Date

The Office of EDIB is developing a comprehensive plan to work on equity issues throughout the student experience. In this plan, the aim of this work is to holistically assess areas of need, analyze data, and prioritize actions to be carried out across departments.

A timeline of selected EDIB progress from 2018 to date:

  • July 2018: Damian Woetzel began his Presidency and identified EDIB as a top priority for the school.  

  • Fall 2018: EDIB consultants began surveying the landscape of Juilliard to identify top priorities for EDIB work at Juilliard.  

  • January 2019: President Woetzel created a new role within the president’s office, engaging Christina Salgado as EDIB program manager. Salgado was promoted to director for EDIB initiatives in November 2019.  

  • June 2019: The EDIB Taskforce, consisting of faculty and staff members from across divisions and departments, was formed.   

  • Summer 2019: Juilliard began collaborating with the Sphinx Organization to offer two programs, Sphinx Performance Academy Sphinx LEAD.

  • Fall 2019: EDIB was named as a core value of the school’s formal Strategic Plan (along with excellence and creative enterprise). The Taskforce is developing the plan’s action items.  

  • November 2019: EDIB Foundational Workshop was launched for faculty and staff; as of the end of the 2019-20 academic year, 520 faculty and staff members had completed the workshop.
  • 2019-20: The school adopted an open search model for faculty recruitment, providing more transparency to our community and candidates about our hiring searches.    

  • July 2020: Camille Pajor was appointed to the new role of Bias Response Officer, in addition to her previous role as Title IX Coordinator. Pajor will be responsible for establishing an Office of Bias Response.

  • September 2020: In partnership with Camille Pajor, Title IX Coordinator and Bias Response Officer, Bias Response Deputies are identified and announced. They are responsible for receiving reports, connecting individuals to resources, assisting in response procedures, and advising community members on the School’s nondiscrimination and harassment policy and processes. 

  • October 2020: EDIB Working Groups of faculty, staff, and students were launched. These advisory groups to the Taskforce are volunteer based and serve one academic term to identify gaps, provide feedback, and create recommendations on specific priority items. 

The priorities identified in Summer of 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year are the following: 

  • Inviting active participation from students, alumni, and non-Taskforce faculty and staff and outlining a communication plan to share the work of the Taskforce with the community on a regular basis.

  • Developing a broader range of options for reporting and resolution procedures for bias incidents, building upon Juilliard’s existing non-discrimination and harassment policy and reporting mechanisms. 

  • Increasing ongoing EDIB and anti-racist training and learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.

In the 2020-2021 school year, we have provided the following updates to the community:

  • The Summer 2020 update outlined next steps for each of the 3 priority areas identified for the current academic year and listed above.

  • The Fall 2021 Report (released January 2021) included the formation of two working groups focusing on the following priority areas: workshop development and bias response; ongoing training for bias response deputies; and updates from departments and divisions on how they have each brought EDIB work into their areas.

  • The Spring 2021 Report (released June 2021) included recommendations from working groups to be implemented during the 2021-22 academic year; internal collaborations with Alumni Affairs, Student Development, and the Writing and Communications Center; and continued EDIB efforts from the departments and divisions.

While we have made progress, we recognize that there is still much more critical work to do.

The Taskforce

Under the leadership of President Woetzel, the EDIB Taskforce was assembled in June 2019 to spearhead the work and values of EDIB at Juilliard. The Taskforce is comprised of staff and faculty members from across the school, and this group meets monthly to explore best practices, review recommendations, and develop strategies that connect current efforts with ongoing planning and development. The EDIB Taskforce has been central to developing the EDIB Workshop and the EDIB pillar of the Juilliard Strategic Plan. The Taskforce members can be found here. 

EDIB Working Groups

To increase feedback avenues in working towards identified priorities, the EDIB Working Groups were launched in October 2020. Working groups are comprised of students, faculty, and staff, and are responsible for identifying gaps, providing feedback, and utilizing their various expertise to create recommendations on specific priority items. Compiled feedback is then shared with the Taskforce and Leadership for review. The working groups are volunteer based, and members serve one-year terms and meet for one-hour monthly meetings for the entire academic year. We are committed to ensuring that the working groups include representation from across the School to allow for cross-sectional discussions and the sharing of various perspectives. Applications for involvement are sent to the community in the fall. 

The working groups for the 2020-21 Academic Year are Workshop Development and Bias Response. Details on the 2020-21 Working Groups can be found here. 

EDIB Foundational Workshop

In collaboration with consultants, Juilliard developed a customized EDIB workshop for all faculty and staff following a comprehensive process that included listening sessions, an analysis of student climate surveys, and facilitated conversations among the EDIB Taskforce. Juilliard’s EDIB workshop was created by Juilliard for Juilliard.

This workshop, which began rollout in November 2019, provides a foundation to participate and engage in dialogue about our EDIB efforts and is mandatory for all Juilliard employees. Through a series of activities, participants are provided with essential language, grounding knowledge around systemic racism, pragmatic approaches to our everyday work, and a forum for continuing these discussions.

The workshop facilitator is Christina Salgado, director for EDIB initiatives, with support from a team of faculty and staff members known as the co-facilitation team. Follow-up workshops on specific topics are in process.

Students are required to participate in a parallel workshop when they begin their studies.

Student Diversity Initiatives

For information on our student forums, trainings, and activities celebrating the diversity of our community please visit Student Diversity Initiatives.

Office of Bias Response

The Office of Bias Response was established July 2020 to centralize and enhance our reporting and resolution procedures for bias incidents. The Nondiscrimination and Harassment Policy includes information about resources and remedies available to Juilliard students and employees impacted by bias-related conduct, which is defined as discrimination and harassment. Please see the policy here for further information and reporting options.

Resources and Feedback

In President Woetzel’s initial message to Juilliard about workshops, he said that EDIB at Juilliard is about a practice and not a destination. This process is about continually learning together, and we have compiled a growing resource list below. We thank many of you for sharing your thoughts with us already. We are listening, we will continue to listen, and we acknowledge that much hard work remains. To share your ideas, comments and suggestions with the EDIB Taskforce, please send them to [email protected].

Definition of Anti-Racism:  

Everyone is impacted by the system of racism, and therefore has to tenaciously walk against that system. As Beverly Daniel Tatum describes, "I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt … Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. Some of the bystanders may feel the motion of the conveyor belt, see the active racists ahead of them, and choose to turn around…But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt – unless they are actively antiracist – they will find themselves carried along with the others."  

Selections from the EDIB Workshop Resource List:

Books:

  • Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

  • Catlin, Karen. Better Allies. Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces

  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me

  • Crenshaw, Kimberlee. Seeing Race Again: Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines

  • DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Race

  • Kendi, Ibram. How to be an Antiracist

  • Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric

  • Tatum, Beverly. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race

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