Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Juilliard is committed to the diversity of our community by fostering an environment that is inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all. 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.

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 anti-racism 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

Why is EDIB work important? 

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 not only reject racism, but to be anti-racist as an institution.

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.

 

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.  

 

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. 

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 are:

  • Renée Baron, Liberal Arts Faculty and Faculty Advisor for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Initiatives

  • Rosalie Contreras, Vice President of Public Affairs

  • Ciaran Escoffery, Chief of Staff, Office of the President

  • Aaron Flagg, Chair and Associate Director, Jazz Studies

  • Katie Friis, Administrative Director, Dance Division

  • José García-León, Dean of Academic Affairs and Assessment

  • Katie Germana, Director of Human Resources

  • Alicia Graf Mack, Director of the Dance Division

  • Adam Meyer, Provost

  • Cory Owen, Associate Dean of Student Development

  • Christina Salgado, Director for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Initiatives

  • Benjamin Sosland, Administrative Director, Historical Performance Program and Assistant Dean for the Kovner Fellowship Program

  • Weston Sprott, Dean of the Preparatory Division

  • Marjorie Van Dercook, Strategic Advisor for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Initiatives

  • Annie Wu, Program Coordinator, Office of the President

  • Jonathan Yaeger, Chair, Music History

  • Evan Yionoulis, Director of the Drama Division

  • Brian Zeger, Artistic Director, Vocal Arts

Taskforce Progress to Date

The Taskforce is developing a comprehensive plan to work on equity issues throughout the student experience. In this plan, we aim 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 and 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 Training was launched for faculty and staff; as of the end of the 2019-20 academic year, 520 faculty and staff members had received training.  

  • 2019-20: The school adopted an open search model for faculty recruitment, providing more transparency to our community and candidates about our hiring searches.    

While we have made progress, we recognize that there is still much more critical work to do. The following are some of the steps we are taking:

  • 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. 

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 facilitators are Cory Owen, associate dean of student development, and 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. Additional student forums and activities can be found on the Campus Life page: Diversity Initiatives.

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  

  • DeAngelo, Robyn.  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   

Database: 

 
Websites/Articles: