ASTA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In 2021, the ASTA Board of Directors created a fourth strategic driver for the association around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Advance DEI by engaging people who represent varied identities, differences, and musical styles. In accordance with this directive, ASTA recruited a twelve-member DEI Committee to assist the board by providing recommendations to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization.

The inaugural DEI Committee has taken up initiatives to:

  • Expand local outreach to underserved students and string programs in the locale of the annual national conference.
  • Pool and develop resources to assist ASTA members in finding music by diverse composers.
  • Engage membership by soliciting input and perspectives surrounding current and future equity and inclusion.
  • Examine barriers that may be preventing current and potential ASTA members from participating in the national conference.

Future initiatives include:

  • Conduct research to examine shortages in string educators and inclusive practices in string education.
  • Develop structures to support recruitment, preparation, and retention of new string educators from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

One of the outcomes for this driver is to increase opportunities for members to safely share perspectives, concerns, and/or ideas about inclusion and a sense of belonging. We invite you to share with us through our ASTA member DEI Suggestion Form. We thank you for taking the time to provide your input.

DEI Committee

Taniesha Pooser, Chair
Berkmar Middle School
Gwinnett County, Georgia
Corie Benton, Board Liaison
Pope High School
Cobb County, Georgia
Brian Buckstead
Fort Hays State University
Hays, Kansas
Daniel D.
Contemporary Violinist
Charleston, South Carolina
Mercedes Lysaker
Orchestra of St Luke’s
New York, New York
Lynn Tuttle, Staff Liaison
ASTA Executive Director and CEO
Fairfax, Virginia
Kelsey Nussbaum, Vice-Chair
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
Nicole Boutros Melrose
Dallas, Texas
Annalisa Chang
Clayton State University
Morrow, Georgia
Jesús Florido
Los Angeles, California
Sundas Mohi-Truong
Klein Cain High School
Houston, Texas
Daniella Valdez
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
Chicago, Illinois