Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra stands in solidarity with the African American community and with protesters across the nation and world who are calling for justice, accountability, and an end to racialized policing. We, along with so many people worldwide, are grieving the loss of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police. We advocate for justice for all people of color who have died as a result of racially biased policing. We advocate for using the energy of this moment to press forward with systematic reform of racially biased police practices, to bring about lasting changes that remove the systemic obstacles to racial justice, inclusion, and equity that are pervasive in America.
Our organization would not exist without the extraordinary brilliance, creativity, and resilience of African Americans. Jazz was born from African American artists fighting oppression. Therefore, jazz is inseparable from the turmoil that has characterized the African American experience. SRJO honors and promotes the incredible art form of jazz music and its extraordinary jazz artists. We stand as an organization in support of our African American colleagues who brilliantly serve in our orchestra and on our Board of Directors.
We are incredibly proud of our educational program, the Clarence Acox Jazz Scholars, and the work we do through this program in conjunction with the Seattle School District to address inequities and biases in music education that disproportionately affect students of color. Jazz Scholars serves over 400 Seattle students from low-income neighborhoods and in under-served school programs, and we stand as an organization in support of all our students of color as they try to build a brighter future.
SRJO is committed to being an anti-racist organization. We are committed to strengthening our ties with people of color in our community, whether by actively recruiting people of color for our Board of Directors, orchestra, administrative and teaching staff, volunteers and audience, or by working collaboratively with other organizations that serve people of color in our community, including the Northwest African American Museum, Charles V. Johnson Youth and Law Forum, Casey Foundation and others.
SRJO will continue to be an ally of people of color, but we will also work harder than ever to amplify the unjust experiences of African Americans, past and present, as well as to work for real change.
- SRJO Board, Staff and Orchestra members