Equity Statement

Voices for Social Justice hears all silenced experiences and welcomes all those who wish to raise their voices. We work to create artistic spaces free from access barriers and that share the stories of communities of people who have been oppressed based on race, age, color, health, ability, faith belief, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender identity, and gender expression.

Voices for Social Justice is committed to holding equitable spaces that work to make sure all involved feel welcomed, valued, heard, and safe. Human beings can tell their stories in an environment that is fueled by understanding, personal growth, and the belief that art can shape our ability to make a more equitable society.

Our organization upholds the following principles:

  • We collaborate with others to perform on topics and in spaces where we are invited and welcomed
  • We never speak on behalf of any community, but rather in solidarity with them
  • We are committed to our ongoing learning/unlearning as individuals and as an organization, to dismantle systems of oppression we encounter in our shared spaces
  • We work to understand when it is time to speak up or time to listen and learn
  • We are grateful for all feedback and promise to make the necessary corrections when we are wrong
  • We enforce a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, microaggressions, and practices that perpetuate white centrism
Inside the organization, we are committed to decolonized working spaces that allow staff and board members to speak their truths and advocate for their experiences. Our staff and board work together in a horizontal power-sharing structure to collectively make organizational decisions.
We are committed to recruiting a staff and board that is reflective of the world we live in.

The choir is made up of a diverse community of people who raise their voices against injustice and share their stories in an authentic and vulnerable way. The singers audition on platforms that can be virtual or mailed in with no requirements regarding experience or formal training. All singers are assessed by a panel using a universal rubric that eliminates elements of white-centric performance practices (e.g. assessing vocal timbre or auditions based on performances of music only found in western musical traditions). All members of the ensemble are compensated for their work and receive stipends for costs that may impact their ability to participate in the ensemble (travel, lodging, etc.).

Voices for Social Justice believes in young people’s power to lead and inspire social change in their lives and communities. We collaborate with communities of young people throughout the country by engaging with them in artistic work free from access barriers and engage in dialogue
geared towards developing a more equitable world. The voices and perspectives of youth are always held with equal importance as the adults in the room.

To further reinforce Voices for Social Justice’s commitment to equitable artistic spaces, we work to co-create educational resources that integrate social justice work into music classrooms and rehearsal environments. Additionally, this collaborative work provides resources that invite others in the performing arts field to examine and create equity in their practices. We believe that voices hold power and are committed to using ours to advocate alongside all in the fight for equity and justice. Additionally, we commit to advocating for arts funding and equity in performance-based art forms. Voices for Social Justice stands in solidarity with other organizations and community movements who lead the way in doing this work.