A Statement on Inclusion and Racism
from the UVU School of the Arts 

Utah Valley University School of the Arts stands with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members and emphatically affirms that Black lives matter. We celebrate Black lives and Black voices. We acknowledge the systemic racism that has created inequality in so many areas of life for the BIPOC community, including physical and emotional safety, and the opportunity to pursue dreams and economic prosperity.

In the arts, we question the status quo through creative performances, compositions, and exhibitions that challenge norms and long-held beliefs. We are uniquely positioned to use these mediums to transform our culture within the School of the Arts and to influence change in the broader community. We acknowledge the unremitting work ahead of us and the necessity for meaningful action, not just unfulfilled words. To that end, we have created a School of the Arts Inclusion Plan that is centered on anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion through the lenses of curriculum, event/exhibition programming, staff/faculty training, and hiring. We greatly desire input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni on the plan and issues that are absent or narrow in the plan. The inclusion plan will be evaluated and revised annually to ensure substantive cultural improvement for all stakeholders in the School of the Arts.

As an academic unit within Utah Valley University, we pledge to listen, to acknowledge, and to work together to eliminate the multiple facets of racism. To those who have long been advocates for BIPOC voices to be heard and for change to occur, we champion your commitment and thank you for your efforts. To those of us who are beginning to consider these issues, we must examine our personal privilege that has rendered us insulated and unaffected, that has prevented us from seeing systems that perpetuate racism and oppression, and that has precluded us from having honest and productive discussion. We must listen, we must acknowledge the validity of life experiences from BIPOC community members, and we must accept being uncomfortable. This is the beginning of the work we must do. Now is the time for our actions to speak louder than our words.

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