We are disturbed that racism and other kinds of discrimination are present at Furman University and acknowledge the Music Department’s
part in this ongoing problem...
To know that any student in our music department has experienced discrimination is unacceptable. It is clear that faculty-student, as well as student-student interactions within our department have at times been distressing, marginalizing, and painful. That simply should not be.

It is our goal to provide an environment in which musician-scholars of all races, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds, and world outlooks, can form a community in which diversity is celebrated alongside the highest standards of scholarship and performance, what Furman refers to as inclusive excellence. The stories recently posted to social media make it clear that we have fallen short of these goals.

We are committed to working toward transformative change through the individual and collective efforts of our faculty, students, and alumni.

We are committed to Furman’s policies against discrimination, under which anyone who submits a good faith complaint, either informally or formally, will be protected from retaliation or discipline. People must feel empowered to speak up if anyone is going to be able to come forward to share their experiences. We also commit to make a fearless audit of our past mistakes to determine when we have not responded appropriately and to make changes as necessary.

We commit to embark upon a process of serious self-examination that results in action, enabling an environment in which students can thrive. As we begin, we will, along with our colleagues in Art and Theater, engage the services of artEquity [https://www.artequity.org/], a nationally recognized organization that works directly with arts-related organizations and musical communities. Their expertise will allow us to dig deeply into issues of equity, community, diversity, and inclusion. Our work with artEquity will be a first step toward crafting a departmental plan on Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity that relates to the wider mission expressed in the University’s developing Strategic Diversity Plan. The process will begin this fall and be facilitated by a Diversity and Equity Council comprised of faculty representatives, current music students, and Furman Music alumni. 

Because transparency is necessary for us to be successful, we commit to sharing the results of our work.

We want to listen and learn. We want to support and advocate for our students while challenging them to become passionate musicians who will impact their own communities in a positive way. We must do better, together.  

Hugh F. Floyd , Interim Chair and Interim Chair for Outreach    
Mark E. Britt , Interim Director of Operations