Elizabeth Macy, Ph.D., developed the Department of Music’s new series on Music, Race, and Social Justice amidst the pivot online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and building on the department’s Black Lives Matter statement. Dr. Macy began the work of organizing this series with the goal of highlighting the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) musicians, performers, and scholars. The aim of the series is to provide students, staff, faculty, and community members an opportunity to interact with visiting artists through performances and talks accompanied by moderated discussions. Macy’s hope is “to provide an inclusive space for conversations as we begin the work of decentering whiteness and engaging with music and activism.” The series is supported in part by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

During AY 2020-21, the series (in a virtual format) featured: New York-based Puerto Rican singer, filmmaker, and activist Taína Asili; Eun Lee and Sarah Overton of The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra in New York; Nancy Méndez and Dr. Alexandro D. Hernández of Los Angeles-based “jarocho punk” band ¡Aparato!; musician, photographer, and author Bruce Sunpie Barnes; RAPtivist Aisha Fukushima; hip hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar Olmeca; a conversation and roundtable discussion with trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard; Alba Ponce de Léon, ArinMaya, and Meah Pace of the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of more than 60 womxn and non-binary singers .from New York City; disabled Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Queer, Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer, DJ Kuttin Kandi; and music educator Dr. Joyce McCall.

The series will continue in AY 2021-22, with plans for in-person residencies beginning in October 2021.