The MSM Cultural Inclusion Initiative

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The mission of the Cultural Inclusion Initiative is to foster diversity, equity, and inclusive practices throughout Manhattan School of Music

MSM’s Cultural Inclusion Initiative (CII) was launched in August 2019 as part of MSM’s Strategic Plan 2019-2024. The mission of the CII is to foster diversity, equity, and inclusive practices throughout the School by auditing current practices, identifying areas where additional attention is needed to achieve change, and creating regular discussion forums for students, faculty, and staff.

The CII provides support and opportunities for each of us in the MSM Community to:

  • develop a greater understanding about our own worldview and how it influences our actions
  • consider how we are positioned in relation to others and recognize differences based on our respective worldviews
  • seek out opportunities for greater openness to new and unfamiliar ideas and behaviors, to diverse cultures and cultural backgrounds, and to all identities
  • take risks in our learning by developing greater openness and to learn more about ourselves and those in our Community
  • take action to promote equity on and off campus

Land Acknowledgement

We want to acknowledge that we gather as Manhattan School of Music on the traditional land of the Lenape and Wappinger past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit as well.

Meet the MSM 2021-2022 Artist Scholars

The 2020–21 Class of Artist Scholars will communicate their experiences and insights relating to racial equity, representation, and inclusion, sparking ongoing dialogue with the MSM Community in multiple forums.

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”

Anti-Hate Resources

Anti-racism work requires sustained, proactive education and engagement as well as systemic, intentional efforts at the micro- and macro-levels. Anti-racism work also requires individuals to take responsibility for their own learning and avoid placing the responsibility for that education on already marginalized and disenfranchised groups, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Below are recommended resources for anti-racist work. They present historical and social contexts while also highlighting the realities of systemic and institutional racism.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Past CII Events at MSM 2020-2021


Terminology can be a critical component in creating meaningful discussions. While terminology may change over time, below are terms and explanations that we feel are important to understand.

Read two statements from President Gandre to the MSM Community regarding #BlackLivesMatter, including the announcement of a major 2020-21 initiative.