This past summer, the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in the United States led to public outcry and international protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and broader awareness of the effects of systemic racism. Following these events, many organizations have reflected critically on how they participate in practices that marginalize underrepresented members of their community. The Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC) has also been contemplating these issues. Here, the current members of the SMPC board affirm our position of unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement, suggest how members of our community can advocate for anti-racist practices that will make SMPC more inclusive, and list initial actions undertaken by the board toward this goal.
The field of music cognition, like academia as a whole, is built upon a history of racist policies that have privileged whiteness. We write this editorial from a place of privilege, acknowledging our position within SMPC, in order to formally advocate for anti-racist practices within our own community. Our perspective is limited by the demographics of the Executive Board, which includes no Black or Indigenous members and few people of color: a situation that highlights the urgency of the problem. We acknowledge this lack of representation, and claim no authority on the best way to solve these issues, but instead hope that this editorial advances important conversations. We believe that progress begins by looking within. With this editorial we begin a process of careful, continuous introspection. We ask for help from those within and outside of our community as SMPC moves forward.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amy-belfi/23/