Statement on Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Scott W. Perry

	Our culture is not yet a fully just one. Economic situation, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and disability are still barriers to participation. It is important to realize this when considering the place of collegiate institutions. Generally, we think of them as places where one learns to be broader in outlook. It has been my experience that they broaden perspective but may also fall into the trap of unconscious discrimination and also have sometimes been directly discriminatory. In both cases, the effect has been to promote a sense of the need for justice in action.
	Within the specific discipline of music composition, there has been a history of an irrational clinging to the notion of a canon of white men. An informal survey of a music history text such as A History of Western Music might easily leave the impression that the only noteworthy composers from the middle ages to the present are white men. While things improve in the context of more recent textbooks there is still an unconscious bias towards economic advantage. In the case of composing with a computer, access to the technology involved may present economic problems. Thus, a practical consideration may compound the stress of other areas of underrepresentation.
	For me, a general attitude of equity and inclusiveness is a paramount part of participating in an academic community. This has been my increasing attitude since beginning my academic career however personal experience has deepened my commitment to these attitudes. I have experienced disability discrimination first hand. It was painful and cost me some years in reaching my goal of a PhD.  However, thanks to this experience, I can more easily sympathize and work with other underrepresented people. I know very well what it is like to face barriers that are not of my own making and I do my best to work towards eliminating similar barriers for others. Action is required.
	In the practice of my teaching I find that a careful and respectful inquiring attitude is very helpful. It also serves the goals of diversity, equity and inclusion to provide non-tokenistic examples in the classroom of the successes of the underrepresented. While leading discussions it is necessary to be aware of how being underrepresented might influence the student's ability to participate. Therefore, rather than placing participation demands in the curriculum, students are met with an invitation to present their unique perspectives. When this is combined with examples of successes a more open learning situation is created. This can always be improved but I have some years of working towards these values in place.
	A while back, it occurred to me that with my PhD I might be of direct benefit to anyone who dreams of composing or creating music. I have made myself available for free lessons in music theory and/or composition for a certain number of hours per week. I am taking all comers, but have it in mind that if things get busy I should work towards greater equity by giving preference to underrepresented people. Currently, I have taken on volunteer work developing an online curriculum for at risk High School aged youth for the Louise Shropshire Foundation in making music with a computer.  Also, it is worth mentioning that I do my best to work towards eliminating discriminatory attitudes in myself by maintaining a mindfulness meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation has also exposed me to some alternative epistemologies. For instance, there is the sacred feminine. The sacred feminine is a vital component of Buddhist epistemology. In order to overcome fear, and fear is the direct enemy of diversity, equity and inclusiveness, the Buddha taught that one should face it with the attitude of a loving mother (see the Discourse on Loving Kindness for more). 
	Societal problems related to diversity, equity and inclusiveness are real. Lately, with the increased visibility of hatred, it might make one despondent. However, if enough people contribute to an attitude of compassion and loving-kindness, we can have a just society.