Magazine article International Musician

The AFM: Finding Strength in a Diverse Membership

Magazine article International Musician

The AFM: Finding Strength in a Diverse Membership

Article excerpt

Diversity within our union cannot be celebrated enough. While our membership runs the gamut in ethnicity, musical genre, age, and gender, the paucity of diversity within many of the workplaces in which we have representational duties continues to impede our effectiveness and growth. While progress has been made within our profession to foster and embrace diversity, an increasingly concerted and deliberate effort is needed to provide a clearer path to increase diversity among officers and members alike.

Last year, the League of American Orchestras, along with partners the Sphinx Organization and the New World Symphony, announced the National Alliance for Audition Support, an initiative that began with a discussion at a Diversity Forum convened by the League and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation some years back.

Our employer partners recognize the need to diversify the workplace in order to reflect the ever growing and evolving communities they serve. While the AFM embarks on programs of our own, we should also support and engage with our employers on joint initiatives that will help elevate underrepresented communities.

This February, as we celebrate Black History Month and look ahead to our triennial convention, we have a twofold opportunity to highlight diversity within our Federation and help kick offthe AFM Diversity Awards application process. The AFM Diversity Awards were created to recognize outstanding examples of diversity that foster underrepresented communities within our organization, such as minority and LGBTQ groups. …

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