Our Commitment to Racial Justice and Equity

A Statement from Our Board of Directors

We at Arts for Learning Maryland (formerly Young Audiences of Maryland) believe that the pursuit and attainment of racial justice and equity are so vital to our success that, without their advancement, our mission cannot be achieved.

At its core, our mission is to transform the lives and education of young people through the arts, and envision a day when every student in Maryland will have the opportunity to imagine, create, and realize their full potential through education and the arts.

To reach that potential, schools must create environments of belonging where students feel loved, valued, affirmed, and included. A place where they can explore, express, take risks, and learn from both victories and mistakes. The uncomfortable truth is that the persistence of structural racism stifles Black and brown children, who make up the majority of the students we serve.

The opportunities we create for children, families, and schools must address the various forms of racism—including structural, interpersonal, and internalized—if we are going to succeed at realizing our mission.

We must work hard to intentionally create classrooms of belonging where every young person, especially Black and brown students, feels loved, valued, affirmed, and included. We must also use the lessons learned from the alternative models we build and the evidence we collect to influence systemic change.

The Board, staff, and artists of Arts for Learning Maryland are closely examining and addressing racial inequities within our own organization so that our aspirations for public school classrooms are also reflected at our office, in the boardroom, and within the Arts for Learning artist community. We are examining our own systems and biases, and understanding how racism shows up both operationally and programmatically. There is so much more to do to ground our organization in racial justice and equity. Please join us.