A fundamental part of a fair society in which everyone can have the best possible chance to succeed in life.
Recognising that everyone is different in a variety of visible and non-visible ways, and that those differences are to be recognised, respected and valued.
The active creation of a learning, working and social environment that is welcoming, which recognises and celebrates difference and is reflected in structures, practices and attitudes
Source: University of York Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, 2017-2022
EDIMS is a cross-organisational network which aims to promote, support and share good practice in relation to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Music Higher Education (HE) in the UK. The Network has grown out of the EDI Working Group established by MusicHE and the Royal Musical Association in early 2019.
The Network is affiliated to a number of music organisations and supports and promotes work seeking to redress historical exclusion and under-representation in relation to a range of areas in Music HE, including but not limited to class, disability, ethnicity, gender, neurodiversity and sexuality. We hope that raising awareness and facilitating change will lead to a re-envisioning and fostering of educational and research environments that are welcoming to all and in which everyone feels enfranchised. This includes listening to voices that have been historically excluded as a result of structural inequalities. We believe that music should be a means of celebrating human diversity, and understanding ourselves from multiple perspectives in ways that are fundamentally enriching.
We recognise that this is long-term work, and is not confined to one group but takes place alongside other initiatives, including national projects such as Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter. We seek to offer a subject-specific space for discussion, reflection and action as a way of moving towards longer-term structural changes to address inequality and under-representation. As a fledgling Network, we recognise also that we need to listen and learn, and be adaptable to changing and emerging needs in our community.
The Network comprises a Steering Group (including representatives from our affiliated organisations) and a number of Working Groups, each with a specific remit and aligned with the Network’s main activities:
To offer a support network for local departmental (or equivalent) EDI groups or representatives working to develop inclusive departmental communities and institutional practices and cultures, including in relation to teaching and curriculum, research, staff and student recruitment, and public-facing activities and communications.
Sharing good practice and resources across the Music HE sector via a dedicated website and social media (especially Twitter).
Confidential support for staff and students from underrepresented demographics in relation to wellbeing and welfare, including safe spaces for confidential conversations which may not be available via institutional or other means. A closed Facebook space has been set up for this purpose and one of the Working Groups will be dedicated to such support.
Mentoring and career development support for scholars (particularly early career researchers) from underrepresented demographics, and for students moving into and through Music HE.
Organising events to promote debate and share current practices across the sector, in the UK and beyond.
Supporting teaching resource development and other dissemination of good practice through print publication and online resources.
We are commissioning a report on EDI across the Music HE sector, in order to understand the current ‘state of play’, and as a starting point for planning future strategy. The report follows the model of the 2015 report commissioned by MusicHE (formerly NAMHE) on ‘Gender and Equality in Music Higher Education’. The report will be published in 2022 and the results will be disseminated widely.
We will also be working in dialogue with a range of external partners in the wider music education sector and the music industry, as well as drawing on experiences and initiatives from outside the UK.
Lead on Social Media Working Group
Co-Chair; Lead on Affiliations and Partnerships Working Group
Lead on Research Report Working Group
Society for Music Analysis representative
LGBTQ+ Study Group representative; Lead on Publications and Resource Development Working Group
Early Career Researcher representative
Lead on Pathways to Music Working Group
Helen Julia Minors
Co-Founder; MusicHE representative
Co-Founder; Royal Musical Association representative; Lead on Events Working Group
Lead on Liaison with Local EDI Groups Working Group
IASPM UK&I representative
Shzr Ee Tan
Co-Chair; Lead on Confidential Peer Support, Co-mentoring, Well-being, and Identity Working Group
PGR representative; Lead on Postgraduate and ECR Working Group