Dear CMCB Community,
There is so much that has been happening over the past few weeks. Some of us, including those of us at CMCB, have started to slowly emerge from the quarantine. As always, we are thinking about the 5,000 individuals and the 19 neighborhoods that we have the privilege of working with each week. Our communities are heavily populated by people of color, and in this moment we specifically recognize the voices of black people. As the stain of racism continues to reveal itself more publicly, we understand that an organization like ours, where the majority of our students are students of color, has a role to play in this conversation. We realize that we must ground ourselves in our mission which speaks of “equitable access.” And in order to truly live this part of our mission and for the sake of our students, it is imperative that we understand and speak out against racial inequity.
What we hear from so many of you is that you participate in programming at CMCB for musical reasons, but also for social reasons. We understand that for many of you, CMCB has become a safe space to engage with a community that has a multitude of different perspectives, and when we are all together and in person, you tell us how much you love the diversity of backgrounds within our community. We see students making music with people who they would never meet otherwise. We see bridges being built almost every week, and it is wonderful to see all of the various lived experiences coming together in beautiful harmony.
CMCB’s music school and administrative offices are located in the South End, a neighborhood where weekend protesters gathered. The protesters were particularly focused on speaking out against the violence and dehumanization of black people. Names like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, and countless other human beings have been at the top of all of our minds. Our local friends and family have shared first-hand occasions in which this pain and inequitable treatment of black people has hurt their families, and we acknowledge that so many of us are feeling great pain at this time.
Because each of our lived experiences are different, there may be others of us whose sense of that pain will be different. For some, the pain and racism of this moment might be felt less acutely. For many of us, these feelings might be new and confusing. For others among us, this will be a pain that is sadly and eerily familiar. At CMCB, we recognize that this pain is real and that it is being felt inequitably, particularly within the black community. We state that we stand with the black community as we advocate for the equitable treatment of black people and for ending the dehumanization of black bodies.
CMCB is more than just a music school. As an organization that includes people of color at all of its levels, we say that we recognize the pain that is being felt in the black community. To those of you who are peacefully and responsibly standing up, please know that we stand with you because, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
Please continue to stay safe, healthy, and aware.
Wishing you all the best,
Lecolion Washington, CMCB Executive Director
Martin Thomson, CMCB Board President
Brenda Ross, CMCB Board Co-Vice President
Kurt Hakansson, CMCB Board Co-Vice President
Mary Carney, CMCB Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Tonia Speicher, CMCB Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee