Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan

In 2019 the CSO developed and adopted a ten-year strategic plan. At the core of this plan is a set of goals and objectives to further its existing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives going forward.

In May 2020, the realities of systemic inequity, injustice and racism in America were once again brought to the forefront by the murder of George Floyd. In this landscape, the CSO is prioritizing and accelerating its DE&I work.

The CSO has developed and is implementing a concise DE&I Action Plan to focus and guide the organization in the coming 12 months. This short-term Action Plan is designed to complement and coalesce with the longer-term strategic plan.

As the Action Plan is refined it will include metrics to measure progress and ensure accountability across the organization.

In alignment with the events of the past three months, this Action Plan primarily addresses advancing the CSO’s work with Black communities, while acknowledging that it must simultaneously apply its learning to initiatives serving the entire community.

Summary of Action Steps

1. Convene a standing Community Advisory Council to help CSO amplify and support important community initiatives.

  • How the CSO serves its community must be informed by the community. A Community Advisory Council (CAC) will help the CSO approach this work from an asset-based perspective, defined as taking the lead from the community about what the CSO should be supporting, as opposed to assuming that we know what is needed.
  • CAC will help identify two-three large community initiatives that the CSO will amplify and support throughout the year.
  • This will also be an avenue to help connect with young professionals of color, with the goal of developing future leadership and accelerating the growing diversity of the CSO Board.

2. Build a CSO staff structure that better supports and amplifies its DE&I goals.

  • The CSO is launching a national search to fill the newly created position of Chief Diversity Officer, the first position of its kind among the top American orchestras.
  • Additional staff restructuring will better align with and support the CSO’s DE&I goals.

3. Implement cultural competency/implicit bias training for CSO staff, Board and Musicians.

  • Beginning with all CSO staff, this will broaden to include all internal constituencies and all customer-facing employees.

4. Review all application, interviewing, hiring/contracting and compensation policies and practices within the CSO to ensure fairness and equity.

5. Evolve the CSO’s existing administrative internship program and create an ongoing mentorship program to develop future arts leaders of color.

  • Mentorships will align with the academic year, in partnership with regional higher educational institutions.
  • Convert existing CSO internships from unpaid to paid, and ensure equitable access to students interested in a career in the arts.

6. Develop and deepen its relationships with underrepresented Cincinnati cultural institutions.

7. Continue to amplify the work of BIPOC artists in all forward CSO, Pops and educational programming.

8. Form long-term partnerships with Black-led arts organizations to co-create new programs.

9. Reposition and reinvest in CSO’s Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) programming, as MAC moves into its 31st season.

10. Evaluate all existing CSO marketing, communications, philanthropic and digital/social media collateral through a DE&I lens.

Our Commitment

Learn more about the CSO's commitment to DE&I through our Mission and Vision statements, Strategic Plan, existing DE&I initiatives and more.

Black Lives Matter

We see you. We hear you. We realize we must do better, and we reaffirm our commitment to push for justice and equality, elevate our role as a voice of positive change, and amplify the voices of those who can help us realize that change.