SFJAZZ.org | Racial Equity Action and Change

Racial Equity Action and Change

SFJAZZ has presented, produced, and provided music and educational programs centered around jazz for 40 years. We strive to be a leading organization in the support of Black, Indigenous and people of color, and acknowledge that at times, we have fallen short of this goal. As presenters of an art form rooted in the Black American experience, SFJAZZ has a unique responsibility and acknowledges that systemic racism and bias has impacted Black, Indigenous, and people of color throughout our region, the larger jazz ecosystem, and within our own organization.

This organization stands firmly for equity and does not tolerate racism or discrimination of any form, whether anti-Black attitudes, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.

SFJAZZ is committed to the difficult work to transform our culture and processes. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access have been identified as key pillars in our recently published Strategic Plan. As an early step, we have engaged with stakeholders across the SFJAZZ community to identify historical and current manifestations of anti-Blackness and its relationship to other forms of oppression and white supremacy, and to identify paths to racial healing, while developing skills for effective cross-racial dialogue and trust-building. We seek to center the voices of people of color in our work and decision-making to reimagine systems currently in place, and ensure accountability, while also providing space for healing and forgiveness.

SFJAZZ strives to honor the experiences of the artists that created and continue to move jazz and related music forward, which are entwined with the experiences of descendants of enslaved people. This difficult history is embedded in the souls of the artists and music we present, and we endeavor to address the lasting consequences of this history in systemic racism, gender representation, inequality, and access. SFJAZZ is committed to the voices, past, present, and future, that chronicle our painful history, the struggle for equality, and offer ways to enlighten and connect to a common humanity. This process of transformation requires long-term commitment. As we continue to evolve, we will continually assess and acknowledge both our progress and our setbacks.

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