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Feb 10 2021

The Elephant in the Room: BIPOC Artistic and Intellectual Presence in Music Studies


February 10, 2021 - Danielle Brown: "The Elephant in the Room: BIPOC Artistic and Intellectual Presence in Music Studies"

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and The UCLA Department of African American Studies are proud to welcome multi-disciplinary artist, scholar, and Founder of of My People Tell Stories, LLCDanielle Brown.

In this presentation, Dr. Brown will discuss her efforts to address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion to create positive change through her work at My People Tell Stories and her social justice minded framework—Canon, People, and Pedagogies (CPP). Specifically focusing on the “People” portion of her framework, Dr. Brown will share how addressing the “elephant in the room”—the minimization, marginalization, and devaluation of BIPOC artists and intellectuals—requires more than diversifying the canon and increasing “diversity hires.” Rather, it requires a reckoning with the forces that ask BIPOC artists and intellectuals to be present, even while denying their presence.

About Danielle Brown

Danielle Brown, Ph.D. is a multi-disciplinary artist, scholar, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder and CEO of My People Tell Stories, LLC, a company based on the premise that people of color in particular, and marginalized people in general, need to tell and interpret their own stories. Brown earned a doctorate in Music from New York University with a concentration in ethnomusicology and specialization in the music of Latin America and the Caribbean.

She is a former Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University and is certified in the Kodály method. Brown is the author of the music-centered ethnographic memoir, East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home, and the East of Flatbush, North of Love: Teacher Guidebook. She is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Folk/Traditional Arts and was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Musicology at the University of Miami for the 2019—2020 school year. Brown will be a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University during the 2021 Winter Quarter.

About the Still Waiting Speaker Series:

"Our ancestors fought for what they expected to be a very different outcome than the one we are currently experiencing. The racial gulf has widened, and we are fighting battles that are bewildering to those of us who know the struggles of others who came before us."

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and its Inaugural Dean, Eileen L. Strempel are proud to launch Still Waiting, a new speaker series that invites the public to join UCLA students in conversation with prominent figures invited by the school’s Anti-Racism Action Committee (ARAC), to help us understand ourselves and our response to this deeply hurtful moment in our nation’s racial reckoning. Still Waiting invites us to demand better of our communities and better of our actions in response to the tangible effects of racist policing, academic and institutional indifference, and methodologies that may bridge the gap between feelings of alienation and feelings of sanctuary and refuge for us all.

About the ARAC:

ARAC, the Anti-Racism Action Committee of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, is a non-hierarchical group of students, staff, and faculty members committed to changing the atmosphere of our Bruin community by addressing issues of bias, marginalization and discrimination toward black, Indigenous and people of color and other intersectional communities.

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Attending this Program?


This event is FREE! No RSVP required. Early arrival is recommended.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.