Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

Diversity & Inclusion are essential to the well-being and continued growth of bluegrass music. We encourage, embrace, and celebrate the participation and involvement in bluegrass by people of all abilities, genders, orientations, identities, faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.

In December 2018, the IBMA Board of Directors established the IBMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force to explore and make recommendations for how the IBMA could better focus its attention and resources to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in bluegrass music. The Task Force was charged with creating a safe space for honest and open conversations, to raise issues and areas for improvement, and to develop action plans to increase diversity in our organization. In the ensuing months, the Task Force has engaged with IBMA leadership, board, staff and members in its work and has defined its commitment:

  • To undertake outreach to engage people who are underrepresented in our community, so as to provide opportunity for their voice and agency in our ongoing process.
  • To learn, educate, advocate, honor, and model effective practices to foster an inclusive bluegrass community

The work of the Task Force is ongoing and there is much work yet to be done. Since its formation, the Task Force identified and then shared for feedback initial ideas of initiatives to undertake as a community to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in bluegrass music. That set of initial high-level ideas, reflected in a one-page document as a guide for further discussion and consideration with unanimous IBMA Board support, was used to seek broader feedback in engagement with the community.

Based on the recommendations of the Task Force the following initiatives are underway:

  • The Task Force has engaged in a program of continuing outreach with community members to listen to their concerns and ideas
  • A review of IBMA policies is underway to ensure that diversity, equality, and inclusion are appropriately reflected
  • The IBMA Board and staff are undertaking diversity and inclusion training

IBMA Cultural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Plan – Phase 1 Efforts

Dates of Task Force reports to the IBMA board:

  • September 16, 2019
  • April 1, 2019
  • June 10, 2020

The Task Force serves as a focal point for the collection of concerns and ideas about diversity, equality and inclusion, makes recommendations to the IBMA Board and staff about potential initiatives, and reports regularly to the Board. The Task Force invites your interest and participation on these important issues. You may contact the Task Force Chairperson, Michelle Conceison, at [email protected].

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