Dear Members of the Shepherd School Community,
Our inability to effectively eradicate systemic racism and social injustice in America stands before us in clear view, as evidenced by recent events.
The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, as a school dedicated to enabling gifted, young musicians to reach their full potential, is committed to using any and all means available to us to confront these issues and effect meaningful and sustainable change, consistent with our mission. Our initial challenge is to identify specifically what those actions might be.
To that end, we are creating a task force, to be comprised of current and former students, faculty and staff. Its charge will be to increase our understanding of how racism manifests itself in the world of classical music and recommend ways the School might use its educational and programmatic resources to eliminate it. The task force will be formed this summer and commence its work once the fall semester is underway.
Even as we grapple with the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic, the Shepherd School community feels a tremendous sense of urgency to act because, in the words of the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.”
With utmost sincerity,
Robert Yekovich, Dean