As a business owner, I have made a commitment to serve everyone who needs my services. What economic or societal structures prevent people from seeking my services? Are there inequities that I can address? As a music therapist, I recognize that music has the potential to harm as well as to heal. What songs in my repertoire have a racist history? Is it enough to simply change a word or two? What personal biases may prevent me from providing appropriate therapeutic presence and care?
This is an important enough issue on its own but there is also so much intersection with many of the clients and needs I already deal with. For instance, even the best standardized tests have multiple cultural biases. Over-policing often negatively affects people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. This is even more of a problem when that individual is a person of color. Access to physical and mental health care often disproportionately favors white, urban dwellers.
I am still learning. I’ve been visiting websites, watching videos, listening to podcasts. I am learning about local agencies and the services they provide. I don’t have any answers but I am trying to understand and listen.
One of the resources I’m finding to be the most helpful at the moment is Decolonizing the Music Room. The Website’s contributors come from a variety of backgrounds. Articles are thoughtful and well-researched. Check it out here!