Our Commitment

While actively fostering intellectual and creative exploration, innovative approaches and connections with the world, USC Thornton also recognizes it is imperative for musicians and scholars to acknowledge systemic racism and the historical exclusion of marginalized peoples in music and to do the required work of reconciliation and repair.


As a school, we commit to:

  • Honoring the experiences of Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Multiracial and all People of Color by creating a culture of learning, listening, and change that recognizes and then uproots all forms of exclusion and oppression.
  • Preparing students to create and perform the music of the past, present, and future from a socially and politically-engaged, critically-informed, and community-driven perspective.
  • Critically engaging in the work of educating ourselves about White Privilege, White Supremacy, microaggressions, issues of cultural appropriation, and racial inequalities in both Thornton and global contexts.


Specific strategies we are engaged in and continue to pursue:

  • Create practices, policies, and organizational changes that support and reflect the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Consistently and sincerely acknowledge in formal meetings, public concerts, written statements, and on webpages, of the Tongva and other Indigenous Peoples, who for thousands of years stewarded the land that USC and the Thornton School now occupy.
  • Comprehensively examine the Thornton School curriculum from a social, racial and historical perspective with the goal of intentionally deconstructing Western cultural hegemony in all resources and materials.
  • Engage with local communities by collaborating with, learning from, and sharing with the rich diversity of cultures in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
  • Aggressively dedicate resources, including financial resources, to the ethnic and racial diversification of faculty, students, staff, and administrators.
  • Include student representation and voice in continuous conversation.
  • Build a LGBTQ+ affirming culture “free from sexism, misogyny, and male‐centeredness.”
  • Activate and sustain mandatory anti-racist bias training for all students, faculty and staff.
  • Hold ourselves – students, faculty, staff, and administrators – resolutely accountable for recognizing racist acts and attitudes, and for creating a culture that recognizes and affirms the experiences of BIPOC, gender-minority, and all other marginalized peoples.

University Resources

University resources committed to equity in our classrooms, concert halls and community.

USC Office of Equity and Diversity

A central resource for submitting reports of incidents involving assault, discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics in which the respondent is a faculty or staff member.

USC Office of Professionalism and Ethics

A central resource for submitting incidence of protected and non-protected class complaints.

USC Title IX Office

Responds to complaints related to assault, discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics in which the respondent is a student.

USC Race and Equity Center

Home to a dynamic research and organizational improvement center that works with professionals in educational institutions, corporations, and other contexts.

Messages to the Community

March 19, 2021

Stop Asian Hate

We are heartbroken and horrified by the tragedy that occurred this week in Atlanta, specifically aimed at women and members of the Asian-American community.

June 25, 2020

Message from Dean Cutietta

The crisis facing Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in America has pierced our nation’s soul.

June 1, 2020

Message from Dean Cutietta

Our hearts ache for our society after the murder of George Floyd, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others we have lost.