Harvard University Department of Music




Join us in supporting

-Black Visions Collective
-Reclaim the Block
-Louisville Bail Fund


A Letter from the Harvard Music Department

The Harvard Music Department joins millions of Americans and people across the world in condemning the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police on Monday May 25, 2020. We first offer our deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd and his children and grandchildren. The heinous brutality of his murder, captured by a bystander on video, has shed blinding light on the lethal effect of racial discrimination in policing and criminal justice. We support the protesters whose actions and organizing efforts are committed to bringing about real changes in law enforcement, criminal justice, and systemic racism. We also wish to acknowledge some of the most recent victims of racial violence—Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor—as well as the long history of lethal violence against African Americans that led to the formation of Black Lives Matter.

The performers, composers, scholars and staff of the Music Department are committed to showing the power of music and its study to assuage grief, inspire social action, calm fear, create communities of commitment, celebrate victories, and bear witness to the heartbreaking complexities of a world torn asunder by racial violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color. We know that statements alone are hollow and must be followed by sustained commitment to take action.

We asked ourselves, what can we do right now? We are inspired by the fact that young people are the most public face of this movement. Some Harvard undergraduate musicians, including some of our concentrators, held an online benefit concert on May 30th to raise funds for community organizing efforts on the ground in multiple cities. They raised over $14,000 among themselves, and asked Harvard faculty to match their fundraising. Members of our community have contributed generously towards this effort, which exceeded its goal yesterday: [https://givebutter.com/facultyfundraiser]

As educators, we affirm vigilance to practicing social justice in our curricula and classrooms, recognizing that much work lies ahead for us all. 

We urge you to join us. You, too can contribute directly to this effort by supporting:
-Black Visions Collective, which develops Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns, implementing transformative justice principles)
Reclaim the Block, an advocacy group for moving money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that promote community health and safety, or 
Louisville Bail Fund, a bail-out fund for folks that provides post-release support and focuses on preventative measures for those targeted by law enforcement and threatened with incarceration.