Amy Lewis, College of Visual and Performing Arts Cultural Connections Artist-in-Residence, joined us for a discussion on “‘Why #BlackLivesMatter for Music Education.” Ms. Lewis’s reflected on her experience in music education, involvement in Black Lives Matter (Lansing Chapter) and connecting the principles of inclusivity, loving engagement and restorative justice to the power of teaching music and art. “Inclusivity is more than getting black and brown people in the classroom. We have to recognize the structures that create exclusion to begin with,” Ms. Lewis said. “We have to use dialogue to get to a place of understanding so we can journey and experience together. #BlackLivesMatter is about dignity, justice and respect.”
This session was co-sponsored by the James Madison University Center for Civic Engagement.
Ms. Lewis is a Ph.D. music education student and graduate assistant at Michigan State University, where she teaches secondary general music methods and supervises student teachers. Previously, she taught K-8 general music, beginning band, middle school choir, and jazz band in Des Plaines, Illinois and was named the 2015 Illinois Education Association Teacher of the Year. She holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from DePaul University and Masters of Arts in Teacher Leadership from Concordia University. Her research interests include unionism within music education, anti-racism pedagogy within music education, and inclusive learning and teaching environments. Currently, she is a core member of the Black Lives Matter Lansing Chapter and has organized rallies and events that promote justice.