We have created this Q&A to help you and your chorus understand Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging a little more.

Q. What is Diversity?

A. Diversity is representing various groups or qualities. This could be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Diversity in a chorus promotes creativity and presents a welcoming atmosphere to potential members.

Diversity can be seen as the mix.

Q. What is Inclusion?

A. Inclusion means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. Working on inclusion means creating a space that does not discriminate directly or indirectly against certain groups, and taking active steps to make people in those groups feel included.

Inclusion is making the mix work.

Q. What is Equity?

A. Equity is ensuring everyone in your chorus is supported as they need. This is different to equality as it means assessing individual needs rather than treating everyone the same. For example, a singer with mobility issues may need additional seating that other members might not require.

Q. What is Belonging?

A. Belonging is the overarching goal of DEI&B work. We want all members to feel a strong sense of belonging within their club, within BABS, and within the barbershop community at large.

Q. How can I welcome new members inclusively?

A. When a new member joins your chorus, consider asking them if they have any additional requirements that you need to be aware of. This can be a great way to prevent issues occurring later on and gives space for singers to discuss any worries they may have about committing to the chorus.

Having regular check-ins with existing members can also be a good idea as their needs for support might change over time.

Q. How can we increase diversity within the chorus?

A. A diverse space is created through inclusion. Working on being as inclusive as possible will help encourage diversity within your chorus.

You might also want to consider how embedded your chorus is within your community. Who are your neighbours? Who else uses your rehearsal space? Can you be a resource for other associations, charitable organisations, and businesses within your community? Can you organise joint events, exchanges of skills, or just enjoy each other’s company? Opening up communication avenues within your own diverse community might help increase the diversity of your own audiences and membership.

Q. How do I raise a concern about language or behaviour in my chorus?

A. If someone in your chorus is acting in a way that makes you or others feel uncomfortable, it would be best to approach your DEI&B representative. If your chorus doesn’t have one yet, you can also approach either your Chair or Music Director with your concerns. If this would not be a suitable solution, you can contact the DEI&B director directly at [email protected] .

Q. How can I help a trans member feel comfortable and welcomed in my chorus?

A. Just treat them as any other member unless they let you know about any additional needs. If you're not sure a person is trans, do remember that their gender is for them to disclose if and when they chose; it wouldn’t be appropriate to question a member’s gender or transition. 

Q. What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

A. LGBTQIA+ is a community of people across the gender and sexuality spectrum. The acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and the + encompasses all other sexualities and gender expressions.

Further definitions can be found on the Stonewall website.

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