Black Lives Matter. An Open Letter from the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus.

SDGMC’s stands in unity.
Advocating for positive criminal justice change, including police reform.

The mission of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) is to create a positive musical experience through exciting performances which engage our audiences, build community support and provide a dynamic force for social change.

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, our community needed our voices; however, due to the pandemic, we were unable to be present. In our attempts to fill that silence, we failed to find a way to clearly express our support, until now.

During recent conversations, our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) members within the Chorus graciously shared their experiences and spoke of their individual pain.  We held an open forum meeting with our Board of Directors and members of the Chorus at large so members could share their concerns verbally or through written statements. We actively listened to their suggestions and recommendations.

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus stands in unity with those advocating for positive criminal justice change, including police reform. Racism has no place in our communities. We join Black Lives Matter and embrace its true spirit. We recognize what it means to our community, our membership, and our supporters.

We also recognize that SDGMC is a microcosm of the greater community we support. We acknowledge that biases and racism exist in our community and we will take bold steps to ensure that they have no place in our rehearsal, meeting, office, and performance spaces. We commit to building a safe space founded on trust and supported by our mission. We will make certain that our BIPOC members know their lives matter and that their contributions in music and leadership will make this organization and our community stronger.

Looking within our organization, we will expand the scope and involvement of our Diversity and Inclusion committee, to include more BIPOC members of the Chorus and the community. This committee will continue to educate and advise our members and leadership by providing necessary viewpoints that will effectively support our full membership and improve our Chorus. Without these fundamentals, we cannot be effective in fulfilling our mission to the communities we support.

Our leadership, staff, singers, dancers, and volunteers are passionate and deeply committed to ensuring that everyone is safe and free to be who they are.

Jeff Roberts
President, SDGMC Board of Directors

Jeff Heine
Executive Director

Dean Akamine
Director of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee / Board Secretary