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AMTA Statement on Recent Acts of Violence

March 24, 2021 09:16 AM

March 23, 2021

American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Statement on Recent Acts of Violence

From the AMTA: National Organization; Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western Regions; and International Relations Committee


Members of our music therapy community, along with people across the United States, are once again grieving the loss of life in mass shootings. We are saddened by multiple recent incidents that have resulted in unexplainable loss and grief. We acknowledge these tragedies and condemn these injustices.

We stand in solidarity with colleagues, students, and clients who experience racism, discrimination, and violence and those who are mourning, scared, and feeling threatened.

On March 16, 2021, a series of shootings occurred in Atlanta, Georgia during which 8 people were fatally wounded, 6 of whom were Asian women. This was one of many attacks, crimes, and acts of discrimination directly targeting the Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. While anti-Asian racism is not new, there has been a drastic, recent uptick in hate incidents specifically targeting Asian and Asian-American people across the country.

The nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate reported being contacted regarding nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic alone, an increase of nearly 150%. This is fueled in large part by hateful rhetoric, xenophobia, and misogyny, which are contrary to the values and ethics we hold as music therapists.

To our Asian and AAPI music therapy students, professionals, and clients, we hear you. We see you. We support and stand with you as you navigate the trauma, stress, and fear of being targets of events such as this.

We acknowledge additional traumas unfolding in Dallas, Boulder, and other communities that also cause grief and harm at this time. The AMTA National Office and leadership team has a regular practice of immediate peer support through direct outreach to professionals and students in affected communities. As you consider and assess your clients’ needs and the extent to which they may be hurting when confronted with difficult news, below are resources for your consideration as you aim to offer the highest quality music therapy services. We invite you to join us in initiating constructive conversations to support communities affected by trauma.

Action Steps for Support

AMTA recognizes that previous responses to acts of injustice have been insufficient for some communities and have caused harm. To that end, you may consider the following actions:

  • Report any hate crime attacks or information about ongoing investigations immediately to the authorities. First, by calling your local police department, then by submitting a report to the FBI.
  • Share and repost verified information about the attacks on your own platforms to raise awareness. Tag mainstream media accounts on those posts to raise awareness and demand change in hopes that action be taken to protect and bring justice to the AAPI community.
  • Aim for prevention by actively examining your own potential biases; encourage your family, friends, acquaintances, and coworkers to do the same. Hold our communities accountable. Remember to be present, check in with, and advocate for colleagues and students.

Resources and Groups

Please contact any of these AMTA representatives if you’re in need of support:

Stop AAPI Hate

National Report Statistics

Asian American Psychological Association

Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit 

The Asian Music Therapy Network - U.S. is a closed affinity group on Facebook that welcomes Asian-, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander-identifying music therapists from all over the world. Their leadership is hard at work creating opportunities for online community gatherings and other forms of support.

South Asian Music Therapy Network

  • Facebook Group: search South Asian Music Therapists

Asian Mental Health Collective 


Download a .pdf version of this statement





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