Community Programs Manager, School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Robin Myrick has worked tirelessly to create and bolster countless programs at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance to expand the reach of programming. As the Community Programs Manager, Robin has most notably taught SMTD students how to safely work in communities and had a consistent presence at partner schools (Michigan Artist Citizens), engaged students of all ages in discussions and workshops on college readiness and studying the arts after high school (M-STARS), and making theatre programs accessible in Detroit middle schools (JumpStart Theatre). Robin works hard to make sure that her programming is beneficial to the communities she serves including Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Ann Arbor. She not only exemplifies so much about what it looks like to have a strong dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, exemplifying the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but has also inspired colleagues to be stronger and more well-rounded in their work.
Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?
“The M-STARS @ Willis Patterson’s Our Own Thing Piano program matches SMTD students with Ypsilanti children to provide them with free, weekly piano lessons and music instruction. The program takes place in the Moore Building with student guidance and training from Professor John Ellis, Associate Professor of music and director of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy. The program encourages parent involvement and focuses on a student-centered curriculum, cultural representation, and culturally relevant instruction for this primarily African-American community. I feel at my best DEI self as I manage this important program, bringing together people, resources, and ideas to further the mission and legacy of Leah Claiborne, the program’s founder, and SMTD alumna.”
In envisioning the future, how would you describe progress in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion? What might it look like?
“I envision an environment where diversity equity and inclusion is viewed as a moral and ethical responsibility and is therefore seamlessly integrated into every process, procedure, and program at U-M.”
What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?
“The core mission of my work at UM is to develop and support ethical, respectful university/community partnerships, and to provide equitable access to the arts for all communities. I recognize that these are lofty goals and I know that there is a long way to go. I am, nonetheless, honored and humbled to be recognized for my work in this area. My sincere thanks to my nominee and to the committee for your consideration.”