On Racial Injustice: Taking Action for Meaningful Change

A Letter to Our Community

Catherine Dehoney, President and CEO

Brian Newhouse, Board Chair

Dear colleagues and friends,

Everything Chorus America does is guided by our mission: empowering singing ensembles to create vibrant communities and effect meaningful change. In the face of racism and violence against Black Americans in our community, the need for meaningful change is of the utmost urgency.

Chorus America’s staff and board stands with all those demanding justice and change. To our Black staff and board, members, colleagues, and friends, we want to say directly that you are vitally important to Chorus America and to our field. We see you and we hear you. Your lives matter. Black lives matter.

In our organization’s journey with diversity, equity, and inclusion, one of the first lessons we have learned is that change begins at home. Systemic racism touches every aspect of the society we live in, including our organization and the choral field. We recommit to working together to dismantle those barriers by listening harder, using our platform to amplify voices of color, and learning from our partner organizations in the arts dedicated to social justice. And, in the immediate future, we are creating more opportunities through our upcoming Virtual Conference to push change forward.

Now is a time to lean into the power of singing together to unite us, but it is not a time to hide behind our music. We share the words that composer, conductor, and Chorus America board member Roland Carter shared with us, “Singing about it is not enough … Creativity and performance must be accompanied by action.”

Chorus America’s vision is a world where communities are transformed through the power of singing together. Every day, we are inspired by real life examples of choruses and choral leaders making that vision real. We will listen, learn, take action, and support you, our members and friends, as we continue to do the work together.

Catherine Dehoney

President and CEO

Brian Newhouse

Board Chair