by the CAMT EDI Committee
The Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT) has a proud history of incorporating positive social developments into our processes and practices. In harmony with this tradition, CAMT is moving forward with an agenda of embracing the core values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
What does this mean?
CAMT is reviewing and updating our policies and processes to reflect these values, such as equanimity, justice, and community, EDI and all future work is being viewed through this lens.
Why does this matter?
Research and the voices of those most impacted show us that privilege and oppression are embedded in all aspects of our culture: from education, to health, to hiring policies, to where people can live. People with social markers outside of those of white, able-bodied, neurotypical, heterosexual cis-males are subject to earning less money, having fewer places to live, increased violence, having their health concerns ignored, and being educated that their identity is culturally less important (Baines, 2021). Exciting new initiatives in Canadian schools such as curricula on gender identity, sexual orientation, and the residential school system are teaching children about EDI. Universities in Canada have adopted EDI mandates to be implemented throughout pedagogy, curriculum, administration, and management. Businesses and other organizations are developing EDI strategies. These initiatives are fostering a new generation of citizens with open hearts and minds.
It is crucial to also address the privilege and oppression currently at work in Canadian music therapy research, education, and practices. Those of us who grew up before the new curriculum was initiated or who attended schools that did not include EDI teachings need to commit to acknowledging, learning, reflecting, dialoguing, and acting (Cann 2020) do the work to get up to speed.
How does this work?
CAMT has a board committee devoted to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. This committee meets monthly and develops EDI initiatives for the board and membership to review and potentially incorporate. To date, this has included creating statements regarding actions informed by social justice values such as the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action or the Black Lives Matter movement. These are posted on our website alongside resources on how to update our approaches and processes.
To be certified, CAMT members agree to follow a code of ethics (https://www.musictherapy.ca/about-camt-music-therapy/camt-ethics/) and as such we are required to participate in continuing education to maintain and increase our skills. CAMT is currently considering requiring a specified number of our continuing education hours to be learning about EDI topics and processes. This essential initiative will ensure that our membership moves forward toward increased ethical practice as informed by social justice values.
Baines, S. 2021. Anti-oppressive music therapy: Updates and future considerations. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2021.101828
Cann, H.F. (2020). Building an Anti-Oppressive Practice.
Gender identity, sexual orientation https://www.sogieducation.org/
Residential schools https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1524504501233/1557513602139
EDI in Canadian universities https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/InterAgency-Interorganismes/EDI-EDI/Dimensions-Program_Programme-Dimensions_eng.asp