Friday, February 18, 2022
12:30–2:00 p.m. ET


This virtual panel will explore intentional exclusion of Black voices in the arts and the emancipatory actions being taken toward reconciliation. Our panelists — drawing on their expertise in music performance, education and history, African American literature, and visual and performing arts — will address specific events and individuals in history that embody anti-racist and/or pro-black ideologies, examine accountability in the music industry after pledges for racial equity and justice post-George Floyd's killing, and offer their thoughts on methods to “re-center” Black voices in the arts such as the use of culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) to re-engage curriculum to honor Black voices.


Antonio Cuyler, PhD

Dr. Antonio C. Cuyler is the author of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations: Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the U. S. and editor of a forthcoming volume, Arts Management, Cultural Policy, & the African Diaspora. He serves as the director of the MA program and associate professor of arts administration in the Department of Art Education at Florida State University, and visiting associate professor of theatre & drama in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. He is also the founder of Cuyler Consulting, LLC, a Black-owned arts consultancy that helps cultural organizations maximize their performance and community relevance through access, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Kimberly Mack, PhD

Dr. Kimberly Mack is an associate professor of African American literature and culture at the University of Toledo. She’s the author of Fictional Blues: Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020). Dr. Mack is writing her second book, tentatively titled The Untold History of American Rock Criticism (under contract with Bloomsbury Academic), about the BIPoC and white women writers who helped develop American rock criticism and journalism during the 1960s and 1970s. Her 33 1/3 book, Living Colour’s Time’s Up, will be published in Spring 2023. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Popular Music and Society and Journal of Popular Music Studies, and she has a chapter about writer Ralph Ellison and the blues in Cambridge University Press’s Ralph Ellison in Context. She is also a music critic and memoirist whose work has appeared in Longreads, No Depression, Relix, Music Connection, PopMatters, and Hot Press.

Joyce McCall, PhD

Dr. Joyce McCall, a native of Mobile, Alabama, serves as an assistant professor of music learning and teaching at Arizona State University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre. Her research — positioned within the context of frameworks like critical race theory and double consciousness theory — centers on how race, class, and culture impact educational equity in music education. She also examines how certain pedagogies such as culturally relevant teaching influences learning outcomes among racially minoritized populations in the music classroom. McCall has proudly served as a clarinetist and saxophonist in the United States Army Bands from 1999 to 2013. During her service, she was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women.

Louise Toppin, DMA

Dr. Louise Toppin is a critically acclaimed operatic, orchestral, oratorio and recital performer.

She has released 9 anthologies and a choral work with Classical Vocal Reprints and Hildegard Press in 2020-2021 including An Anthology of African and African Diaspora Songs (songs for the university student) and Rediscovering Margaret Bonds (many previously unpublished songs).

As a scholar, she has lectured on the music of African American composers and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered (Margaret Bonds); for many national conventions including the Society for American Music, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the American Cultural Association, the National Association of Negro Music, NASPAM; and on many college campuses including Harvard, Tufts, and Duke.

Previously, Dr. Toppin was the Kappa Kappa Gamma Distinguished University Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


This event is hosted by the Diversity Scholars Network and the Anti-Racism Collaborative, a strategic space that engages the University of Michigan community around research and scholarship focused on racial inequality, racial justice, and anti-racist praxis.