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AMTA 2021 President-Elect Candidate Resignation

October 25, 2021 07:44 PM

AMTA 2021 President-Elect Candidate Resignation

Dear AMTA Members,

AMTA acknowledges we have deep work to do to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and justice within our association. Longstanding discussions and expressions of concern that culminated at the 2021 Virtual Annual Conference Business Meeting and recent Assembly of Delegates meetings led to a request for deep reflection by the Board of Directors as a collective group, as well as individual stewards of the association. There is a push for greater public recognition and acknowledgement of the gaps that have existed for many years in: our efforts to address matters of importance to marginalized and minoritized community members; our systems, policies, and procedures that do not allow for equitable engagement and participation; more effective and transparent communications; improved input mechanisms; and efforts to build overall community trust. As a first step, you will see more communication coming from the association to the entire membership to inform and update you. To that end, we want to inform you that AMTA Vice President Wendy Woolsey has withdrawn her candidacy for President-Elect of AMTA in the current 2021 election. Today, October 25, 2021, she offered the approved statement below to be shared with the membership:    

Dear Music Therapy Community,

The following motion was passed at the 2021 AMTA business meeting. “Move that the membership acknowledges our harmful current system and processes and each of our parts in it, and that current board members and those on the ballot for the next election reflect on their fitness regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to serve on the board at this time. If they do not feel fit to serve, those members should resign or resign from their candidacy.” Below is the statement I sent to the board of directors Monday night and reaffirmed Thursday, October 21st which was composed as part of my personal reflection process.

The board of directors was asked to reflect on their fitness regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to serve on the board at this time. As a member of the board, I have been in personal reflection and remain committed to do the individual work, educate myself, and be present and reflective in my continued learning. This is not an option. I must for myself as a biracial person of color, my family, and the communities I engage with, in and outside of music therapy. I must as an educator, leader, mother, friend, colleague, and community member. I must do this work whether I serve on the AMTA board of directors or not.  

A lot of change needs to happen in AMTA. Deep rooted change that will take the community working together to enact and to nurture. Change that requires community trust to make the vision a reality. My reflective process drew my awareness to the lack of trust of the board of directors, shared in various ways in the assembly and the general meeting and our board community reflection. There is a lack of trust of the board, I am the board.  

I will not be a barrier to the change that is essential to our profession, organization, and clients. For this reason, I resign my candidacy for President elect of AMTA.  


 Wendy Woolsey (she, her, hers)
 AMTA Vice President and 2021 President-Elect candidate

Polls close on October 27, 2021 for the president-elect and vice president-elect election. The remaining candidates have been notified of what has occurred. Wendy Woolsey has agreed to complete her current term as Board of Directors Vice President that concludes on December 31, 2021. Additional communication will be forthcoming as we determine next steps, including any additional changes that may occur during this time of ongoing reflection by the Board of Directors and election candidates.

We appreciate your patience as we work to determine thoughtful, equitable and manageable steps forward. Our goal is to listen more effectively and work collaboratively with community input and support. We thank you for your thoughts and discussion on these topics as we continue to educate and grow as leaders of this profession. 

We invite you to check out the Latest News section of the AMTA Homepage where updates on our plans and progress will be posted regularly. Should you have questions or concerns, National Office staff are available to connect with you via phone at (301) 589-3300, email at or through the contact us form on the AMTA website. Thank you.

American Music Therapy Association