Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors Statement

Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors Statement
Type of post: Public Latest News Item
Posted By: Debi Gordon
Status: Archived
Date Posted: Sat, Jun 20 2020
Dear Sweet Adelines International Members,
The Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors met June 10-13 and with unanimous decisions, took action on several important issues that affect our members and how we all can better live out our organization's guiding principles. Here is a statement from the board regarding those decisions:
In accordance with our guiding principles on the Culture of Belonging and Diversity & Inclusion (D & I), Sweet Adelines International rejects any song with racist lyrics, messages or history, and we consider them unacceptable for performance in any setting.

Therefore, we commit to actions including but not limited to:
  • Changing our contest rules so that these songs will be unacceptable for performance in any contest setting. Performance of these songs in the 2021 Regional competition will result in a score penalty. Beginning with the 2021 International competition, it will result in disqualification. The phased implementation is to ensure that all members fully understand how to evaluate the lyrics, message, and history of a song before the disqualification penalty takes effect.
  • Establishing education and resources to teach our members how to determine if a song has a racist lyric, message or history. To support this, the development and release of the Song Evaluation Tool component of the D & I Chorus Toolkit is being accelerated. A more detailed schedule for its release will be shared the week of July 6, 2020.
  • Creating an ongoing, living database to which members can continually refer and share information regarding songs that have racist lyrics, messages or history.

In addition to the decisions related to music with racist lyrics, the Board unanimously voted to establish the email safe@sweetadelines.com as a way for members to confidentially contact us to share their concerns within the Culture of Belonging and D & I guiding principles.

To ensure that the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force continues, the Board also took action to create a body to serve as the permanent stewards of this important work. This body will be known as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and will be created with wide representation of our membership.

As these initiatives are developed, additional details will be provided. We know that you have many questions about this, and we welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please contact us at exec@sweetadelines.com.

In Harmony,
International Board of Directors
Joan Boutilier, President
Thérèse Antonini, President-Elect
Patty Cobb Baker, Immediate Past President
JD Crowe, Treasurer
Mary Rhea, Secretary
Sharon Cartwright
Paula Davis
Leslie Galbreath
Elaine Hamilton
Jenny Harris
Vicky Maybury
Janice McKenna