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News & Press: FAI Announcements

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Music Industry

Tuesday, February 6, 2018  
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Learn about conference activities and read our re-issued values statement.
Learn about conference activities and read our re-issued values statement.

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Music Industry

Folk Alliance International (FAI) would like to once again state that everyone is welcome at our conference, in our membership, and under the broad banner of folk music. We are committed to fostering a safe, inclusive, and inviting community for all who love, make, and support music.
Over the past year and a half FAI staff and board have participated in skills and resource building activities to enhance our awareness, leadership, and impact on these issues. This has included a facilitated diversity and inclusion workshop, a seminar on racial equity, and sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training.
Additionally, FAI’s Advocacy Committee has drafted a pledge entitled "Committing to a Safe Music Community" for any member or delegate to sign onsite at the conference. The pledge reads as follows:

"As a member of the music community, I pledge to create and uphold a safe environment for all, one that respects all national, geographic, cultural, ethnic, social, economic, gender, sexuality, orientation, mobility, and other forms of diversity. I reject harassment and discrimination of any kind. When I witness behavior that undermines or threatens the safety and security of any participant, I pledge to address this behavior as unacceptable. I will seek training to learn how to address these issues appropriately."

The following are details of two events happening at our upcoming conference. Please also read our Values Statement included below.

2018 Conference Actions

Friday, Feb 16, 12 pm, Century C ballroom: Community Gathering: Sexual and Gender Harassment and Discrimination in the Music Industry.
This professionally facilitated training session for all delegates will provide resources, tools, and methods for allies and advocates to build safe spaces for all within the folk community. After the session, there will be additional time for break-out discussions in facilitated affinity groups. Trained advocates will be available to provide emotional support, crisis intervention, information, referrals, and problem-solving during and after the presentation and training.

In order to prepare relevant content for the session, the trainers (MOCSA and Diane Burkholder with The DB Approach) have created a brief survey to collect perspectives and experiences related to harassment and discrimination from our community. All responses will remain anonymous.
Please Take this Brief Survey
Saturday, Feb 17, 10:30 am, Liberty Ballroom: Showing Up for Racial Justice training
SURJ is a national network organizing white people for racial justice. Through personal support, political education, and solidarity action, SURJ moves people to act as part of a multi­racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. This session will ground attendees in seven Points of Unity (essential values to win a racial justice movement) while practicing tangible skills to discuss and disrupt white privilege in ourselves and the community at large.

Resources and Action

If you experience or witness discrimination and/or harassment at a music industry event, take action with whichever suggestion below is relevant to the situation.
  • Tell the offending party to stop
  • Talk immediately with a trusted colleague
  • Contact your union, supervisor, or HR department
  • Call the 24 hour National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
  • Call the local police at 911
  • At Folk Alliance International events you may also
    • Contact an FAI staff member in person or email
    • Contact hotel or venue security

FAI Values Statement

Developed in 2016 and released January 2017, the following is a re-issue of Folk Alliance International’s Values Statement.

We believe that greater diversity throughout the organization allows Folk Alliance International to:
  • Build a more creative and compassionate community. Folk music has historically been inclusionary at all levels and by nature brings community together. It has often been a part of movements for social and political change.
  • Spur awareness of other cultures and perspectives. We value sharing knowledge and conducting ourselves in a respectful manner. Interaction with a broader membership base introduces us to traditions from different countries and regions, along with perspectives of sub-communities within Folk Alliance International. Openness to and acceptance of these varied interests and perspectives will lead to greater inclusion and participation.
  • Provide enhanced opportunities for the organization and members. These additional viewpoints and communities will support our intrinsic value by fostering international and multicultural understanding, allowing FAI to make a greater impact in the music community and the world at large.
We also believe that bringing greater diversity to the organization will challenge our assumptions while revealing our similarities. It will have indefinable, intangible, and unpredictable effects. The costs of international expansion are worthwhile and of value.

As emphatically as we welcome people of all national, geographic, cultural, ethnic, social, economic, gender, sexuality, orientation, mobility, and other forms of diversity to our events and organization, we also wish to express our rejection of discrimination and harassment.

As defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): “Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).” In accordance with US law, our board recently adopted refined language regarding harassment in our employee handbook.

We encourage our members to adopt similar policies in their places of work and to adhere to this standard at their events.
If you have any questions or comments about these statements or anything related to Folk Alliance International, please contact
Aengus Finnan, Executive Director
Matt Smith, Board President
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Folk Alliance International, 601 Avenida Cesar E Chavez Suite #100, Kansas City MO 64108 • 816-221-FOLK (3655) •

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