317 Main formed a DEI Task Force in May 2020 to develop a shared understanding of what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to 317 Main and work to integrate these values into the daily life at 317 Main.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement 


317 Main Community Music Center (317 Main) strives to create inclusive programming and equitable access to music education for all who would like to participate. We recognize that we still have a lot of work to do. As educators and community leaders, we want to ensure an inclusive environment for our students and their families, and staff and teaching artists, and the broader community. Together, we have a responsibility to:

  • Ensure that 317 Main is a safe and inclusive community, where racism and other forms of oppression are not acceptable;
  • Ensure that our community is represented in our board, staff, and teaching artists;
  • Foster a sense of responsibility around the songs we’re playing and teaching; and
  • Constantly remain aware, diligent, and hold ourselves accountable to these principles.

We are committed to doing the work to make these values part of every decision made across the organization, and to supporting our staff, board, and teaching artists in actively working against racism and other forms of oppression within the organization. This work is a high priority for our Board governance committee. We have formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to define what these terms mean to 317 Main, and to review our policies, procedures, and programs to identify opportunities for change and ongoing improvement. We invite members of our community to be a part of the conversation.

 317 DEI Task Force Directive:

317 Main has formed a DEI Task Force with responsibility for the following:

  • Work collaboratively with 317 Main board, staff, and teaching artists to develop a shared understanding of what DEI means to 317 Main;
  • Identify opportunities and recommendations for specific actions to continually integrate DEI values into daily life at 317 Main;
  • Work with the board and 317 Main Leadership Team to prioritize, guide, and implement DEI actions into day-to-day operations.

The Task Force has taken several initial steps:

Since being formed in May of 2020, the 317 Main DEI Task Force has met regularly and undertaken the following actions:

    • Developed a Black Lives Matter statement and shared it with our online community;
    • Continued to share resources and engage in learning opportunities for individual and group reflection;
    • Conducted a survey and interviews of teaching artists, staff, and board members to help guide our next steps for learning and action;
    • Developed working definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
    • Added DEI to monthly Board and Leadership meeting agendas and weekly staff meeting agendas;
    • Created recommendations for next steps to advance our commitment to DEI related to training, hiring, financial aid, programming, and communications;
    • Formed a DEI Media Club, which is free and open to the public, that meets monthly to discuss and reflect on selected music, books, articles, podcasts, and other work by a diverse range of authors and artists, with a focus on racial equity and other DEI topics.


317 Main has developed the following working definitions:

  • Diversity: A variety of social and cultural characteristics exist and are celebrated, e.g. race, gender identity, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, life experiences.
  • Equity: Everyone has access to what they need to thrive, understanding that everyone will have different needs and that power and resources need to be directed appropriately.
  • Inclusion: Everyone feels a sense of belonging – they feel welcome, represented, respected, and empowered.


To learn more and/or get involved, please reach out to Molly Gallagher Burk ([email protected]).  We welcome and encourage your thoughts about how 317 Main can be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community space.  Thank you!

We are always open to feedback and we are committed to accountability. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know by filling out our Community Feedback form (on this page or by clicking the button below.)


Co-chair: Molly Gallagher Burk, Director of Foundation Relations

Co-chair: Gail Cinelli, Board Member

Melia Coletta, Marketing and Communications Manager

Alicia Phelps, Director of Community Partnerships and Special Programs

DEI Lunchtime Chat
Wednesday, March 17 |12:30-1:30 pm | Online via Zoom

317 Main’s DEI Task Force invites our students and families, teaching artists, staff, volunteers, and other community members to join us for our first DEI Lunchtime Chat.

317 Main is committed to doing the work to be an equitable and inclusive organization, and we are committed to accountability and transparency as we learn and take action.

Our DEI Lunchtime Chats will be open forums for us to hear community feedback, questions, and suggestions as we continue to identify and address areas for learning and improvement in our programming and operations.

Please email [email protected] for the Zoom link. All are welcome!

DEI Media Club:

317 Main’s DEI Media Club is a free monthly meet-up to discuss and reflect on work by artists and authors of color and creators from other marginalized communities, hosted by Melia Coletta.

Next meet-up:

Thursday, March 25th, 5:30pm-7pm – via Zoom (Note the time change!) 


  • “Native Son” Richard Wright (Fiction, 1930, Modern Classic)
  • “They Gotta Have Us” (Netflix docuseries)
  • “Give the People What They Want” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (funk/soul)

Our goal is to continue learning and reflecting on the far-reaching ways that racism and other forms of oppression seep into lived experiences and stories, and to hold each other accountable. Participants can be anyone with an open mind, ready and willing to discuss and support artists of all media forms – including authors, artists, filmmakers, reporters, dancers, and musicians. To sign up, please email Melia at [email protected] Everyone welcome!

Save the date for the next DEI Media Club meet-up: Thursday, April 22nd from 5:30-7 pm (note the time change for this one.) 

Previous meetings have discussed:

How To Be an Antiracist by Abram X. Kendi

The 1619 Project, Episodes 1-3

The 1619 Project, episodes 4-6

13th, a documentary film

Bones and Banjoes: Confronting Cultural Appropriation A TedX Talk performed by Jake Hoffman and Kafari 

“Soul” (Pixar, 2020)

“The Origins of Our Discontents” Isabel Wilkerson

“Between the World and Me” Ta-Nehisis Coates (Nonfiction)

“We Should All Be Feminists” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nonfiction)

“Still the Same Me” Sweet Honey in the Rock (Gospel, 2000)