The Iowa Music Educators Association believes that BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, we have had our eyes reopened to the tremendous inequality that has for too long existed for our black students - in matters of family income, access to health care, access to education and opportunity, and significantly, in police policies.
We see these inequities, and, although many areas of our state are not racially diverse, we grieve with our black students as well as well as with the black community nationally and yearn for change.
We also believe in the tremendous power of music to express emotion, to create solidarity, and ultimately, to help heal. The relationships built in the learning and making of music are strong ones. Our students are hurting and they turn to the mentors in their lives to try to make sense of it all. We can tell them that we see them - that we hear them - and that we will always be there for them.
Martin Luther King, Jr., in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, cautioned against preferring “a negative peace (the absence of tension) to a positive peace (the presence of justice)” and went on to say “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” The Iowa Music Educators Association will strive for Dr. King’s “positive peace” through non-violence and courageous conversation about what WE can do.
We are committed to learning more about our students, facing racial injustice, standing in solidarity, and supporting justice within music education and our country. We are committed to seeking out and promoting resources to help students and teachers navigate social justice issues. We are committed to making our classrooms more inclusive, more understanding, more attentive and informed places. We are committed to removing implicit bias. We are listening. And we invite all music educators in listening, learning and moving forward in this journey towards greater understanding.
IMEA Diversity Committee
IMEA has created a diversity committee to address issues related to deficiencies and inequities in music education related to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, class and ability. They are working hard to plan events that will help Iowa music teachers embrace the diversity of cultures inside and outside the state of Iowa, and make school music inclusive for everyone. For more information and RESOURCES, visit our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page.