Diversity Initiatives

IL-ACDA Diversity Initiatives

The mission of the Diversity Initiatives Committee of the Illinois Choral Directors Association is to foster diversity and inclusivity in our Illinois state membership, ensembles, and repertoire through active engagement with underrepresented choral musicians and potential choral participants. We will bring about a broader definition of choral excellence both as result of this inclusivity and in order to maintain our relevance and expand both the reach and impact of our profession and its musical scope within Illinois.

Committee members: Keshena Cisneros-Watson, Eric Esparza (Chair), Keith Hampton, Grace Jeong, Cristian Larios, Richard Nunley, and Charles Taylor. If you have heightened interest in the work of this committee and/or particular expertise that you wish to offer, please email Eric Esparza at eesparz7@depaul.edu.



  • The first DIC Zoom Forum will be Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 4:00pm-6:00pm CST (https://depaul.zoom.us/j/98636499312). At this forum we will introduce the team, develop a set of reflection questions to assess our inclusivity as educators, and solicit feedback from attendees about what topics they would like to see addressed in future forums.
  • Social Media Guidelines are being developed to protect members from hate speech and offensive discourse.
  • Expert-led webinars are in development that will help educators seeking to celebrate all genres of choral music with focus on particular styles (gospel, spiritual, country-specific, language-specific, etc.).
  • We hope to Develop intra-state festivals that bring together the diverse singers from across Illinois to share music, culture, and fellowship. We also seek to revive and redevelop the multicultural honor choir from ACDA’s past to suit the musicians of today and tomorrow.
  • Diversity Initiatives Newsletter – 8/19/20
  • Diversity Initiatives Newsletter – 2/20/21


Please enjoy the work of the following BIPOC conductors, educators, musicians, and composers.

Praise His Holy Name
by Keith Hampton
The Keith Hampton Singers and Friends
Keith Hampton
O Meu Maracatu
by Daniel Afonso
Madrigal de Brasília
Nothing to Lose – Twinkie Clark-Terrell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1i3P4vG0_Q
Nigra Sum – Michael Bussewitz-Quarm  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS8BJMcbJTE 
Leron, Leron Sinta – Saunder Choir – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxstEEdTAhg 



In response to the current national discussion of racism, the DIC and the IL-ACDA Board suggest the following resources.

“LIft Every Voice and Sing” -Keith Hampton



“Teaching for Black Lives” edited by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian and Wayne Au



“The Black Church” -PBS documentary



Facing Frederick:The Life of Frederick Douglass, A Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

George Washington Carver for Kids: His Life and Discoveries with 21 Activities by Peggy Thomas

Michelle Obama by Alison Oliver

Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Howard Bryant


Social Justice Standards
Principle Writer Emily Chiariello

The Score: An Urban Music Education Podcast
Eric Jimenez & Justin McLean



Teaching with Respect: Inclusive Pedagogy for Choral Directors
Stephen Sieck


Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.


100 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Corinne Shutack


13th (film)
Ava DuVernay (director)


White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo


How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi