DCI-86

Staff merry-go-round

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From what I can see in most respects drum corps has been ahead of the curve in terms of diversity.  In terms of membership we see lots of both men and women.  People of all colors are widely represented.  People from many countries come to the US to march in corps.  There are rich kids and some pretty poor kids.  And all of these corps now have a good number of out LGBT members - most likely more than we have in the general population.  So certainly among the members it seems to me like drum corps is very diverse and I think that is really very important.

The staffs are less diverse.  They skew male, and they skew caucasian though there are certainly still a lot of female staff members in key roles and a lot of non-caucasian staff members as well.  But clearly it is dominated by white males.  My instincts are that this is mostly just the natural way that thing have settled out.  Sometimes there are biases involved, and other times for whatever reason men will prefer some activities, women others, etc.  I expect these staffs will slowly get more diverse.  I don't think we should get too uptight about it or try to set quotas or anything because I think that with diverse membership we will - over time - have more diverse staffs.  From what I can see - at least among the top tier corps - there seems to be a pretty enlightened group of people in leadership.  I truly can't imagine the BlueDevils, or Bluecoats, or most any of the other top corps discriminating on the basis of gender or race for their staffs.  I think they just look for whoever they can get that is the best in a particular area.  So we're gonna get naturally more diverse staff over time and we will get that more diverse staff because those staff members will be the best in the respective fields.  That's a very good thing.

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1 hour ago, kdaddy said:

Without hesitation, I disagree. In the student ranks, and definitely in the design and caption management ranks. I have not found drum corps to be as diverse as the US population. But I'm really only referring to design and caption managers.

 

And without hesitation, I agree with you wholeheartedly here. Of course, I in no way talked about increasing minority involvement of marching membership, but you're free to tangent however you please. I'm referring to inspiring current marchers to be the next set of designers and caption managers by enabling them to see themselves in those positions. Diversity is for them to witness and experience and learn from, not for you or me to write about on a website. 

But ultimately, I really don't understand how you can disagree with my premise: drum corps should be more intentional about getting a diverse body of people in design and caption management. Your argument is "hire the right people, not losers," and I don't see how I'm suggesting to hire incompetence. Nobody (except maybe Getoffmydot) is suggesting quotas, though that's the typical anti-diversity argument. Designers should do their best to mentor a diverse group of designers. Corps should embrace and encourage it. 

Empathy isn't easy when one doesn't have the same common experience (and I'm guilty of this - I'm so white, I'm like the ghost of Tilda Swinton). A lot of folks on here don't understand what I'm saying, and that's okay - I really hope corps leaders do. 

And my apologies for doing my small part to keep this topic alive. There isn't much on the merry-go-round these days, but I don't see any need in closing this thread.

Ok. Tilda Swindon indeed! Too funny! Maybe Regiment could do “Orlando” for 2020?????

Your comments about diversity in instructional staff has to start with the realization that drum corps isn’t financially accessible to many potential marching members. There are tons of gifted people who don’t have the $2800+ to play drum corps for a season.

Let’s start with “financial diversity”. Get DCI to acknowledge that not everyone has the bankroll of the top 12 corps. DCI created the disparity between corps based on what X or Y corps can afford to put on the field. DCI is now rewarding how a show is designed over the sweat equity the marching members put out to refine and perform what they are given. Some call this idea old fashioned/irrelevant but it is a founding principle of today’s drum corps.

I’ll take the flaming, I don’t care. DCI should reward accomplishment over design.

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2 hours ago, kdaddy said:

Without hesitation, I disagree. In the student ranks, and definitely in the design and caption management ranks. I have not found drum corps to be as diverse as the US population. But I'm really only referring to design and caption managers.

 

And without hesitation, I agree with you wholeheartedly here. Of course, I in no way talked about increasing minority involvement of marching membership, but you're free to tangent however you please. I'm referring to inspiring current marchers to be the next set of designers and caption managers by enabling them to see themselves in those positions. Diversity is for them to witness and experience and learn from, not for you or me to write about on a website. 

But ultimately, I really don't understand how you can disagree with my premise: drum corps should be more intentional about getting a diverse body of people in design and caption management. Your argument is "hire the right people, not losers," and I don't see how I'm suggesting to hire incompetence. Nobody (except maybe Getoffmydot) is suggesting quotas, though that's the typical anti-diversity argument. Designers should do their best to mentor a diverse group of designers. Corps should embrace and encourage it. 

Empathy isn't easy when one doesn't have the same common experience (and I'm guilty of this - I'm so white, I'm like the ghost of Tilda Swinton). A lot of folks on here don't understand what I'm saying, and that's okay - I really hope corps leaders do. 

And my apologies for doing my small part to keep this topic alive. There isn't much on the merry-go-round these days, but I don't see any need in closing this thread.

Bravo!  Great post.  It’s definitely hard to put this viewpoint into words and I think you did an eloquent job.  Stepping into another’s shoes is difficult and we all grow when we can understand each perspective.  

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1 hour ago, Sutasaurus said:

 Your comments about diversity in instructional staff has to start with the realization that drum corps isn’t financially accessible to many potential marching members. There are tons of gifted people who don’t have the $2800+ to play drum corps for a season. 

Maybe for just the tour fees, but with costs for auditions, travel to and from camps/auditions, camp costs, and spending money, I'd say the total costs for a year are 2-3 times higher.

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The 2020 design and caption management staff at Academy. 

If your name is Kurator, you're heading for a career at a museum.

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling

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Ok My take on this is that Yes the current marching members are more Diverse in their Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Race. And yes the most important Design and Caption positions are not.

But that is just because the roots of Drum Corps was in Catholic church, or War veterans and those groups where are predominantly White and predominantly Male. And the designers for those early groups are still around today. This is the second or third generation of designers that are still doing it today and will probably continue to do it for another decade. (Gaines, Sacktig, ScoJo, Chandler,) Most of these guys marched in the 80-90's and while the diversity was better than it was in the 60 and 70's it was still not as diverse as it is today. 

Today's Caption Managers and Field techs are diverse Because most of them Marched in the 2000's and 2010's and they just have to climb the ladder and increasingly earn their positions when they become available to them.

But I have no doubt that once they get their shot, the diversity among the top staff in 15-20 years will be as diverse as the current population of Marching members. 

 

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Diversity of competence is not tolerated, however. That’s not fair. I want to be a caption head. 

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DCI diversity is equal to marching band diversity. Not that hard to figure out.

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