Workgroup Meeting Materials

Society for Music Teacher Education

Area for Strategic Planning and Action on Cultural Diversity and Social Justice

Workgroup Meeting Materials

March 22, 2018          3:00-4:30      Chastain 1


ASPA Facilitators: Juliet Hess, Michigan State University

Amanda Soto, Texas State University

Karen Salvador, University of Michigan-Flint

With guest facilitator Denese Odegaard, President, NAfME


Special Guests: NAfME Staff and Leadership:

Mike Blakeslee, Executive Director, NAfME

Chris Woodside, Chief Operating Officer, NAfME

Kathy Sanz, President-Elect, NAfME

Glenn Nierman, Past-President, NAfME


Meeting Timeline
3:00-3:10         Introduction/ Announcements

3:10-3:20         Recap NAfME/CDSJ ASPA interactions & review action items (below) and additional materials from googledoc (see our CDSJ ASPA facebook page for invitation to contribute to this brainstorming document)

3:20-3:50         Breakout group discussion with NAfME staff and leadership listening to ASPA members. These questions are also available in advance on the googledoc. They center on this idea: “If you could create NAfME, what would it look like?”

  1. Whom does NAfME serve, and whom should they serve? How can we address the gap between those if there is one?
  1. What do you perceive as NAfME’s communication presence/messaging? What kind of communication presence should NAfME project? Who can we learn from (orgs/people)?
  1. What does our ASPA see as the purpose and value of music education? How does this relate to CDSJ?
  2. #IWishNAfMEKnew: What are the disconnects that you perceive between the national office/staff/officers and practicing music teachers?

And music teacher educators?

And the CDSJ ASPA?

3:50-4:20         Listening and Discussion: reporting out and strategizing for concrete “next steps”

4:20-4:30         Final wrap up for ASPA


Meeting Norms:

  • Respectful conversation
  • Equity of voice
  • Work to listen and understand
  • Monitor air time
  • Be solution oriented
  • Consider how we can collaborate


Possible Discussion/Action Items:

National Level (Karen Salvador wrote the first part of this list after a Zoom meeting with Denese Odegaard, Lori Evenhouse, Adam Goldberg, and Elise Figa, desiring to give concrete ideas as a springboard for action and further thought/conversation):

  1. Hire someone whose full-time job is to focus on Equity and Inclusion at the national office, offering training, consulting on policy, communications, programming, professional development, etc, at national and state A trifecta of expertise would be awesome: music education, education policy (related to equity, inclusion and justice), and promoting diversity in organizations.
  2. Create a long-standing committee (or council) on eliminating racism and bias in music education. The NCTE group (and their charge) might provide ideas/guidance. (see here and here I suspect that the CDSJ ASPA would be delighted to create a charge for this committee and to suggest how its members should be selected. Since members are appointed, work for representation for diversity in all areas. Be sure to have specific charges identified when asking members to be a part of the council specific charges prior to appointing members.

Amanda Soto expanded the list with these ideas:

  1. Substantial funding and fundraising efforts for scholarships for music education students at the undergraduate and graduate level for underrepresented students
  2. A mentorship program for current undergraduate and graduate music students because we understand that financial support is not enough. What would this include?
  3. 10% of future regional and national conference sessions that are devoted to cultural diversity and social justice topics. Create a list of possible topics for sessions.
  4. A pre-conference to the 2020 NAfME Research/Inservice conference and a separate conference to discuss these topics in which sessions are recorded and posted online and a publication comes forth.
  5. Fund, support, and advertise upcoming identified publications related to these topics.
  6. A long standing committee (already mentioned above) or board position Note: NAfME board positions have defined terms; committees have terms but may be reappointed.


State Level Action Items (to be discussed at the 2018 National Assembly in June with the possibility of Karen facilitating a break-out session): (Karen Salvador wrote this list after a phone meeting with Denese Odegaard, Lori Evenhouse, Adam Goldberg, and Elise Figa, desiring to give concrete ideas as a springboard for action and further thought/conversation):

  1. By (year) our board will resemble the demographic characteristics of the school-aged population in our state.
  2. By (year) we will have a membership presence in every county in our state.
  3. By (year) we will expand our student events and professional development to include venues and support for students/teachers outside the “big three plus jazz” (Do some work to see where to start in each state… song writing? “modern band”? “World Music”? Hip Hop? Electronic music?)
  4. By (year) we will host at least (number) of festivals that focus on how school music programs are sustaining the cultures of students and their families.
  5. By (year) we will create a track at contest/festival for “reverse inclusion” and/or other forms of intentionally inclusive ensembles (and it will not be a “showcase”)

How Can the CDSJ ASPA Tap into Existing NAfME Initiatives/Programs?

List of suggestions from Denese Odegaard:

  1. Develop educational webinars to raise CDSJ awareness with members (NAfME Academy). The process is to submit a proposal to the Professional Development Committee and once accepted, the staff assists in recording the webinar. This is voluntary and not paid.
  2. Create an avenue for conversation (see NAfME president/staff contact info below) when it is noticed that we need to change practice.
  3. Continue to present sessions at state and national conferences.
  4. Create a CDSJ community on Amplify – our newest platform for dialogue among members. I see SRME SRIGs on Amplify but not SMTE ASPAS.
  5. Monitor conversations on the Amplify “Music Educator Central” to see where you can share valuable information with members on CDSJ topics.
  6. Share meeting outcomes of this meeting with staff and board/leaders during the board retreat time – possibly at our next virtual meeting May 22nd from 5:00-8:00 EST. The retreat would most likely be during the last half of the meeting.
  7. Facilitate a session at our National Assembly June 29-30, 2018 if a member of this ASPA is at the assembly or willing to attend.
  8. Facilitate communication with states on how the SMTE Cultural Diversity and Social Justice ASPA and state MEAs can work more closely together.
  9. Identity CDSJ individuals who would like to be a resource in the state in which they live and connect the leadership and individuals to work together for state advisory/training.


Already in Action by the NAfME Board/Cabinet/State Leadership/Staff or Can Provide for Members:

  1. Continue the conversation about what each term (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) means when applied in music education and across the spectrum of human diversity. Everyone in leadership and our professional staff need to understand how culturally sustaining practices might unfold in various communities as well as why privilege and justice are important concepts for an organization with our history (and for anyone involved in education).
  2. We need to bring people to the table. NAfME can provide an organizational chart at this meeting to identify what the reporting structures are, what the councils do, how the “cabinet” works and how that is different from the board, and how the professional staff fit in). Note: the policy governing makeup of councils already addresses the idea of increasing attention to diversity: “If no Division-nominated member of the Council has significant expertise in any of the areas of (1) technology in music education; and (2) Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Access; one or more of the at-large appointments will be used to ensure that such expertise is available to the Council.” If the board chooses to appoint representatives that reflect a certain demographic makeup, it could do so.
  3. Suggestion: To review and amend the nomination process for all elected positions so that there is an effort to diversify the leadership in NAfME. In place: Our nominations procedures already include the policy that National Nominating Committee and the National Executive Board shall consider people of diverse backgrounds (inclusive of but not limited to cultures, abilities, economic backgrounds, and gender identities). There is success with this in the last election for National President and 3 Divisions Presidents.


Action Items NAfME Can Do Now – No Discussion Needed

  1. Create a device/avenue to share ideas on “I wish NAfME knew… “so that NAfME can collect information/ideas on how to meet the needs of our members. This would give voice to all members and non-members to be able to articulate concerns or identify needs. We suggest an open ended survey in which we can collect data to see charts of statistics and group information into categories from which we can work.
  2. When the NAfME President has a Town Hall meeting with large city school music educators, invite the state leaders and staff to be a part of the discussion to be able to hear the conversation 1st FYI – the Town Hall meetings are online and engage both members and non-members. The question to be answered is, “If you could create NAfME, what would it look like?”
  3. A space on the national NAfME website to disseminate cultural diversity and social justice resources, materials, and workshops that are available. CDSJ assists in identifying resources that would be listed and who would approve content using the Strategic Plan for direction.


Post Meeting Items

  1. Co-create (CDSJ ASPA and NAfME President) webinar to answer the concerns gathered from the pre-meeting CDSJ googledoc and to present steps from this meeting.
  2. Bring these concerns/action items to our National Assembly this summer to talk with state leaders.


Staff/President Contact Information


Mike Blakeslee

800-336-3768 Ext. 202


Chris Woodside

800-336-3768 Ext. 229


Denese Odegaard