Diversity among students, faculty, and staff is essential for creating a vibrant, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating performing arts training environment. Through targeted recruitment efforts and intentional work, and with funding from the Peabody Institute Diversity Fund, Peabody has made progress in building a more diverse campus community.

Increased investment in scholarships and partnerships with pre-college training programs serving students of color are drawing a more diverse pool of applicants to the Conservatory, leading to a 65% increase in underrepresented minority students—from 80 underrepresented minority students in 2018 to 132 students in 2023, representing 16% of the total student body.

With most of that growth occurring in the undergraduate population, we have increased our attention on the graduate program, particularly our DMA. Following the 2022-23 launch of the new Pathways to DMA initiative, 17% of the fall 2023 incoming DMA cohort was comprised of underrepresented minority students, up from 4% in 2022.  

Peabody Exterior

On campus, students have opportunities to engage with a variety of programming focused on strengthening cultural awareness and increasing knowledge around diversity and inclusion topics, and can participate in student organizations including the Peabody Black Student Union and La Familia, the Latinx Student Union. In addition, as Peer Mentoring Programs gain prominence within higher education to enhance student success, Peabody launched its inaugural DEI Peer Mentoring Program in September 2023.

Peabody’s Executive Team today is the most diverse in its history and includes Peabody’s first Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the percentage of non-white employees has seen a steady increase from 27% to 34%. Following implementation of Peabody’s Faculty Diversity Plan, BIPOC faculty now represent 16% of total Conservatory faculty in 2023, up from 6.5% eight years earlier. A new commitment to employee engagement, professional development, and training is expected to improve employee retention and provide advancement opportunities for underrepresented staff.