Member Safety Statement
From the Board of Directors at The Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, Inc.
The Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts (AAPA), the parent organization of The Academy Drum and
Bugle Corps, Phenom SoundSport, and The Academy Youth Guards wishes to recognize and reaffirm our
active commitments to participant safety and fostering a culture of mutual respect and care for all
Our goal is to prevent harassment, assault, and/or discrimination of any nature (verbal, physical, sexual, etc.) from occurring within our organization, as well as prevent any retaliation against whistleblowers. This is a lofty goal, and we acknowledge the difficulties of making it a reality. Nevertheless, there are multiple ways we can try to prevent such acts from occurring and to ensure participant safety and protection.
One of the strongest and most important tasks is to establish a basic organizational culture that actively opposes harassment, discrimination, and/or assault. Another tactic is to ensure that anyone at any level of the organization feels empowered to act. Taking action includes, but is not limited to: learning to recognize inappropriate situations, behavior, or circumstances; setting examples of positive behavior; and, knowing how to intervene and/or report situations or incidents.
So far, AAPA has:
– Actively promoted values encompassing a supportive and safe environment for all participants
– Set clear expectations of appropriate behavior among all participants through annual training in policies, procedures, and recourse, as well as make clear a zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviors or actions
– Reviewed and strengthened our policies and practices prohibiting harassment or discrimination
– Instituted more formal whistle-blower policies as well as publicized and informed our membership about reporting methods
– Reexamined and strengthened reviews in employment processes
– Required that, as a condition of participation with an AAPA program, all staff, volunteers and board members, submit to a criminal background check and regularly complete training about harassment and discrimination, including how to recognize, address, and report incidents and prevent environments in which such might occur
– Recruited onto the board of directors individuals with professional expertise in compliance and issues around participant safety and the prevention of harassment and/or discrimination
– Created a compliance committee of the board of directors whose charge it is to review and recommend policies, procedures, and tools around the prevention of harassment and/discrimination and facilitating reporting
All of the above may serve to prevent tragic incidents from occurring, but no one is satisfied that we have “done enough.” We remain vigilant. We also support and welcome new ideas, including exploring the recent suggestion of a clearinghouse of background information for potential staff or volunteers. AAPA also is committed to the new DCI IN STEP initiative, which promotes the participation and leadership of women in the drum corps activity. Diversity of ALL kinds in positions of influence in a drum corps will strengthen and improve the climate for all participants.