Fostering A Culture
Using The Chorus Toolkit?
weet Adelines International is committed to welcoming singers of diverse identities into our musical family. We continually strive for and value the genuine Culture of Belonging described in our vision statement. Initiatives such as the formation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council and its ongoing development of the Chorus Toolkit are part of the work we are doing as an organization to live up to the words of our vision statement. Together, we are learning more about ourselves and each other. The Chorus Toolkit provides a structure for conversations and activities that will help us grow together as singers, performers, and friends. It is now available for download from the Sweet Adelines website. As part of the DEI Council, the Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee was established to assist chapters through their DEI journey. The subcommittee is charged with keeping toolkit materials current, recommending toolkit changes as needed, mentoring, coaching, and facilitating support for choruses, and recommending subcommittee applicants. Current Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee members are Donza Friende (#14), Fiona Knobel (#34), Allison Lew (#13), Liz Stewart (#17), and Chair Deb Ferenc (#17 ). The subcommittee includes five work groups: Education/ Training, Chorus Connections, Facilitation/Coaching, General Chorus Support, and Planning. They consist of volunteers who will continue DEI work with chapters looking for specific help in each area of expertise. You may notice that the Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee and workgroups are structured much like the
| January 2022
Song Assessment Tool Subcommittee and their workgroups. This approach has been successful in getting the job done AND involving more and more members in the process. It takes a village! Having worked on and used the Chorus Toolkit, the subcommittee suggests that those who are preparing to use the toolkit review each component one at a time. Take your time and read it thoroughly before taking any action. Consider using different sections of the toolkit to drive DEI-focused discussions with your chorus. • The first two sections provide an introduction and historical perspective to set the stage for understanding why DEI is important.
• Section 3: “Preparing Your Chapter for Beginning a DEI Development Process” is a great place to start with your chorus discussions. It is focused on helping to build awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement related to the culture of DEI.
• Section 4: “Chapter Choices to Address DEI” provides practical and actionable recommendations for dealing with all the choices choruses make on a regular basis: music selection, member accessibility, chorus culture, costumes, community interaction and more.