The events of summer 2020 sparked widespread discussion about systemic racism and prejudice in America. At Phantom Regiment, we’ve taken time to reflect and ask challenging but necessary questions about our organization’s role in continuing these conversations and what our programs can do to make a difference.

The mission of Phantom Regiment is to create leaders and give members life-changing experiences through the performing arts. Leadership means doing your part to confront and end racism and prejudice, so we must do better and make our organization a change agent.

As we enter the new year, it’s time for an update on what we’ve been doing over the last seven months. We are determined that Phantom Regiment be a leader in the drum corps community. This means bringing our values surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the forefront of our organization.

To begin, we have established a commission that will consist of staff, members and volunteers. This body has been tasked with three main goals:

  1. Create internal change to become a more equitable, accessible, supportive, and inclusive organization for performers of all races, communities, orientations, and gender identities. When prospective members look at our organization, we want them to see a welcoming organization that values their whole-cultural self. Phantom Regiment is a place to call home – for every member of our Phamily.
  2. Create a lasting impact in marginalized and underserved communities. This means expanding access to Phantom Regiment with new programming that reaches a more diverse audience and supporting member-led projects during tour to create life-changing impacts in Rockford and the communities we visit.
  3. Identify ways to bring the Phantom Regiment Academy to a more diverse community, with both in-person and virtual programming. We see an excellent opportunity to engage a more diverse body of students and educators alike through PR Academy, especially in a time when remote learning has become more critical than ever.

Recently, we announced plans to field a 2021 edition of Phantom Regiment. We’re pleased to announce that our first series of seminars and workshops will be held this Spring for the Board of Directors, staff, and members. Additionally, we will extend our physical and mental wellness workshops to include diversity and inclusion and how to recognize and combat racism and prejudice. Our new policy page will launch this Spring, containing all of our organizational policies concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion and member safety and wellness.

Our committee will identify blind spots, reflect, and make substantial changes to our organization to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for members, staff, and volunteers. The organization’s whistleblower portal is being reimagined to include diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. We will engage our alumni about the past, and we will grow from these sometimes difficult conversations. Check back soon for updates on how you can be a part of this vital effort.

We are committed to standing on our word by taking bold actions to fight racism and prejudice of any form while creating leaders and providing positive life-long experiences for all members.