El Sistema USA®‘s core values include equity, empowerment, excellence, impact, sustainability, joy, and community – which we hold central to all of our work. We strive for our member organizations to build supportive and safe communities for children. We currently do this by offering professional development and education for members to ensure that they are well equipped to build safe, transformative, and thriving music education opportunities for all students. This includes ensuring that children participating in El Sistema USA® (ESUSA) programs are safe from abuse, supported, and empowered when they need help.
We condemn all acts of violence against children. We also acknowledge that this violence disproportionately affects women, and that there is always more we can do to create a safer and more equitable environment within our organization and for our members. The international reckoning sparked by the 2017 #MeToo movement continues to impact change. ESUSA sees and hears survivors, and believes them. ESUSA is committed to providing safe learning spaces for students where children are protected from predatory behaviors, and we are committed to empowering young people to use their voice to speak out against violence and oppression they may encounter, anytime and anywhere in their lives.
The #YoTeCreoVzla movement has deepened awareness and the urgency around the degree to which we create safe environments in our programs. ESUSA is supporting our members with resources and information about how to ensure student safety, to encourage children to come forward and seek help if/when abuse occurs, and how to support children and families if/when these horrific incidents take place. As an organization, El Sistema USA® is committed to taking the next several months to determine even more rigorous support structures, practices and offerings that will provide our member programs with the toolkits necessary for a systematic and holistic approach to protecting children. We encourage our members and their families to reach out with any questions, and we will continue to support the primacy of students’ voices creating safe and thriving communities.
For our members and for all people seeking support in building safe, supportive communities for children we’ve added ESUSA’s Child Protection Policy to our Resource Hub and encourage our members to review it and apply it in their núcleos. We look forward to adding to and enhancing this Resource Hub very soon.