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Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been driving forces at Berklee from the beginning of its history. Berklee’s present and future commitment to these topics is explicit within the Diversity and Inclusion Framework and the campus in Valencia is firmly aligned with this framework, taking our geographical location as encouragement to approach these topics globally.
We approach diversity as a philosophy and an objective. Central to our purpose is our commitment to attract the widest array of music innovators into the Berklee community and provide an environment that supports their creative process. We also seek to integrate these values into teaching and decision-making as our students are influenced through leadership as much as through curriculum.
Cultural diversity is integral to the mission of Berklee simply because cultural diversity is integral to music itself. Innovators from diverse backgrounds and cultures have created the music studied here. An essential part of a Berklee education is gaining an appreciation of the rich variety and interdependence of the cultural traditions that form the origin of the music that students explore.
We must be a community in which every member’s voice is valued and respected. A diverse, inclusive work and learning environment is essential to maintaining our role as a leader in contemporary music education. It is imperative that we take specific steps to attract and retain the widest array of talented musicians and provide an environment that supports and nurtures their creative process. The fulfillment of our mission—to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career—will be demonstrated in their influence both on the future of music and on the larger culture.
Understanding that the definition is constantly evolving, we view diversity holistically. Our definition of diversity includes race, color, nationality, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. We also know that a diversity of ideas, approaches, disciplines, and learning and musical styles are essential to inclusion and equity. The integration of myriad cultural values and perspectives into what we do at all levels, from teaching to decision-making, is critical.
Many challenges lie ahead in all areas. We believe that increased diversity will support our strategic objective of attracting the highest quality students, faculty, and staff to Berklee. To accomplish this, we must create a welcoming and supportive multicultural atmosphere for all members of our community. This focus is not the work of any one individual or office; it is the work of everyone. In this spirit, we will encourage a campus-wide climate of respect, openness, and awareness that celebrates and values our diversity.
Currently, the combined student body of the College, Conservatory, and the Valencia campus is 30% international, with our students hailing from more than 100 countries. In nearly every country, our alumni are represented by top performers, educators, sound engineers, music business leaders, choreographers, and Broadway actors. Our students practice virtually every religion, they speak multiple languages, their political views span the ideological spectrum, and yet they find a common purpose at Berklee. Although we have made progress in diversifying the makeup of our students, faculty, and staff, we recognize that more needs to be done to improve the campus climate and the experience for our diverse students, faculty, and staff. A framework for progress has been established through which Berklee aims to become the best institution in the world for the full spectrum of musicians, dancers, and actors who want to make their mark on their art form.
This committee has been tasked with further evaluating and developing a tailored approach to addressing the unique needs of the Valencia campus in relation to those of the institution to create a comprehensive plan that addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion while paying specific attention to the cultural and regional understanding surrounding these topics. The committee is made up of 20 staff and faculty members representing every department at the Valencia campus: Academic Affairs, Production, Operations, Enrollment, Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion, Information Technology. Student representation is limited to enrolled students willing to volunteer their time to the advancement of the campus and its environment. Valencia’s Diversity and Inclusion committee is currently looking to address the following key framework areas:
In alignment with Berklee’s vision for 2025, the Valencia campus is fully committed to empowering artists to better our world by allowing for experiential learning opportunities that enhance students’ sense of agency and social responsibility as it relates to their artistry and its place on today’s society, and through the provision of a learning environment where all community members can thrive. For this ultimate purpose, a specific number of resources have been designed and / or identified:
Berklee is committed to removing barriers that prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities. The mission of the Office of Accessibility Resources at Berklee is to ensure access, create an equitable college experience, and promote inclusion for students with disabilities in all classes, programs, and activities on all Berklee campuses. Through collaboration and partnerships with students, faculty, and staff, Accessibility Resources strives to lead in the creation of inclusive learning environments that are usable, equitable, and sustainable.
Accessibility Resources is the office designated to determine and provide access for disabled students at all Berklee campuses, including Valencia. Students who may need accommodations on the basis of a disability in Valencia should visit the Accessibility Resources webpage for more information on the process of requesting accommodations.
In order to provide an inclusive environment for all our community members, Berklee offers both gender-inclusive and accessible restrooms on the Valencia campus. Additionally, all signs at the Valencia campus can be found in Braille format.
Further information on specific resources for our trans* community members can be found here.
A number of curricular and cocurricular opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Valencia campus have been designed for the purpose of creating experiential learning opportunities that enhance students’ sense of agency and social responsibility as it relates to their artistry and its place in today’s society.
Diversity and Inclusion Grants have been designed to help and support students with ideas for events, projects, programs, and initiatives that reflect and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Berklee community.
Through these grants, the Office of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at the Valencia campus provides financial, logistical and organizational support to help student ideas become a reality. Core themes to focus on when applying for a grant should include access and equity, community engagement, community learning and development, and expanding outlooks.
This non-credit certificate is awarded by the Office of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion to students who, during their time at Berklee’s Valencia campus, show a strong commitment to social justice, community outreach and engagement, diversity, inclusion, social responsibility, and careers through their participation in one of the official cocurricular programs offered on our campus (i.e., Student Advisory Board, UN’s Senior Ambassador Program for Sustainable Development Goals, Women in Music, student clubs, diversity grant awardees among others).
In its first year of inception (2017–2018), this certificate was awarded to more than 70 students from all academic programs.
This is an opportunity for students to make a positive impact in our and their communities by developing a project that furthers one or more of the 17 sustainable developments goals established by the UN as their agenda for 2030. Senior ambassadors sponsor this agenda and promote the cultural diversity dialogue by making use of their creativity.
Projects include the following:
Established during the academic year 2016–2017, these series aim to provide a safe space to unpack and discuss complex social issues affecting the way we navigate today’s world, while offering alternatives to bring people closer together.
A highlighted event of this series was “Shifting the Conversation: Towards Balance in Music”: a powerful debate featuring a panel of industry professionals held on our campus in March 2017. This event was a collaboration with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Fund with the aim of raising awareness about gender inequalities within the music industry and come up with ideas for change.
Women in Music Berklee is a collaboration between the nonprofit organization Women in Music and Berklee College of Music. It provides a number of seminars, concerts, and conversation series to raise awareness about Women in Music’s mission within Berklee Valencia’s student body and the local community.
She Knows Tech has brought a number of female tech specialists to our campus to offer workshops and guidance on specific technology-related topics. The objective is to attract women into the field of music technology and to provide female references within the music tech industry to all our student body.
IAMM! (I Am a Musical Mosaic) started as an afternoon workshop series for children from the YMCA in Valencia. The goal was to have kids explore their identity through music and express it through learning basic audio manipulation, poetry, and recording. This collaboration is now continued in the form of a concert led by the YMCA, in which Berklee students prepare and mentor children to gain confidence to perform on a stage in front of a crowd of strangers. This concert has now become a recurring event that celebrates the international day of tolerance and continuously features similar mentorship by Berklee students.
The Valencia Film Orchestra was established by 66 musicians from Berklee Valencia and Conservatorio Superior de Música to perform a family concert featuring the greatest soundtracks of all time. The main objective was to raise funds for Fundación FUVANE, a local organization working with children with cerebral palsy.
Boundless Music started as a student club in fall 2017 and evolved into a diversity grant project: a cultural concert series to showcase and promote the diversity of Berklee artists. The widely attended Race, Culture, and Music event on campus generated a great deal of conversation and progress within the Berklee Valencia community.
Berklee joined forces with UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, a worldwide solidarity movement that seeks to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in favor of gender equality and to bring consciousness and awareness that gender equality is not only a women’s issue, but a human rights issue that needs to be addressed at all levels. As part of this special collaboration, members of the Berklee community shared what gender equality means to them via a #BerkleeHeForShe photo booth and met regularly to discuss how men and women might experience gender equality differently. Berklee’s contribution to the HeForShe campaign culminated in the first Mediterranean Roots Festival (Festival Raíces del Mediterráneo), organized jointly by Berklee’s Mediterranean Music Institute and the Valencia campus to celebrate the musical heritage of the Mediterranean area and its influences and fusions. A part of the two-day festival honored this campaign in a concert featuring Mexican singer and UN Women spokesperson Magos Herrera offering a Mediterranean jazz night with the Berklee Mediterranean Ensemble and Valencian alto saxophonist Perico Sambeat, in the presence of HeForShe representatives.
Women and Conducting aims to shed light on and raise awareness of the unbalanced presence of women in the world of conducting, and to discuss strategies and initiatives that could contribute to the elimination of the glass ceilings that exist on leadership positions in contemporary music spheres, from classical music to music direction, orchestration, and film scoring.
Berklee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the Valencia campus recognizes the power of partnership in its ability to make a meaningful and impactful change in the local, national, and international communities through its curricular and cocurricular initiatives. In this way, student-led and institutional initiatives have been built in collaboration with a number of institutions, and we hope that future Berklee initiatives continue to solidify these important relationships.
Berklee is a diverse community composed of individuals with different life experiences, viewpoints, belief systems, and identities. A welcoming and inclusive culture is essential to maintaining the institution’s role as a leader in music, dance, and theater, and Berklee highly values the dynamic environment that results when students, faculty, administrators, and staff from diverse backgrounds come together to learn, live, and work. Therefore, Berklee’s Equity Policy and Process and the Student Code of Community Standards prohibit discrimination and harassment.
Specifically, the Equity Policy and Process prohibits and addresses sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and discrimination and/or harassment based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, mental illness, military/veteran status, national and ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, or any other characteristic protected by law (collectively referred to as “protected characteristics”), whether that characteristic is actual or perceived.
Valencia Equity Leadership Team
Berklee's Equity Policy and Process was designed to further the institution's goal of inclusion, respect, and equity for all community members at Berklee, including Berklee College of Music; Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain; and Berklee Online, and affirms Berklee’s commitment to promote fairness and equity in all aspects of the institution.
At the Valencia campus, the equity policy is supported by the Valencia Equity Leadership Team.
Flowcharts explaining how Berklee addresses Equity reports, the support and reporting options available for community members and even whether an incident is Equity related or not are available for community members to consult. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on Berklee’s Equity Policy and Process. If you have a question you would like to see answered, please email the equity team.
Off campus resources for students in Valencia include Pathways to Safety International