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Week against Racism

The European Action Week against Racism takes place each year in March.

During the 2021 Week against Racism, the UvA Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) team, in cooperation with the SeSi Community Center of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), Pakhuis de Zwijger and Comité 21 maart presented a rich programme of events for UvA and AUAS students and staff. This included a wide variety of music, spoken word, storytelling, lectures and workshops, with plenty of room for dialogue. 

We are stronger together

The CDO team is committed to diversity, inclusion and equity within the university. During the 2021 week the theme was: We are stronger together: We lift each other up when we care for our community. This is because self-care is not enough on its own, a shift toward community care is also necessary. Community care recognizes that we don't all have equal access to time and money, which are the main resources needed for care. It reminds us that as human beings, we are interdependent. In other words, please don't forget the people around you. 

Programme 2021

  • Diversity 101 (online workshop)

    Workshop leaders: Alfrida Martis  and Janissa Jacobs 
    Languages: English

    This workshop is an introductory training on diversity, inclusion and intersectionality. Participants are introduced to various diversity topics, frameworks and theory, so they gain basic knowledge in order to be able to talk more knowledgably about diversity. Themes that are covered include implicit bias, good practices, resource-sharing, allyship, power dynamics and diversity literacy.

  • Inclusive perspectives on higher education (livecast at Pakhuis de Zwijger)

    Speakers: Meltem Halaceli, Fabienne Batista Morais, Josefien van Marlen 
    Moderator: Mahutin Awunou
    Language: Dutch

    The workshop 'Inclusive perspectives on higher education' was developed by SeSi and the CDO team. Please join our conversation about the importance of projects that contribute to a safe and inclusive learning environment, where there is room for an intersectional perspective on education. What difference can student noise make? What steps are needed for inclusive education? And what is the added value of participating in a pathway where your different identities are given space?

  • Hatha-Yoga meditation (online) workshop

    Workshop leader: Dr Olav Aarts
    Languages: English and Dutch

    This workshop consists of a semi-guided meditation. Meditation and yoga connect people and are for everyone. Following a short introduction, we will practice meditating, and afterwards there will be time for questions and discussion.

  • Diversity & inclusion (online) workshop

    Workshop leader: Abigail Koopmans and Esma Curuk
    Language: Dutch

    The purpose of this workshop is to increase awareness about the wide variety of identities and backgrounds. We do this by means of the 19 'Diversity cards'. These help create a space for sharing stories, and the openness to discuss similarities and differences. In this way we achieve a more inclusive and equitable awareness, at individual, team and organisational levels. Narratives enable us to see into each other’s worlds of the Other, where we share differences, as well as similarities.

  • The power of love (livecast at Pakhuis de Zwijger)


    • Walk in with DJ Lynnee Denise
    • Word of welcome by Anne de Graaf
    • Lecture by  Mpho Tutu
    • Lecture by  Francio Gaudeloupe
    • In-depth interview by Naomi Antonius
    • Q&A with audience (via zoom)

    Language: English

    There is no greater power than love! Love has the ability to heal the world. Love is pure and decent, innocent and true. This conversation is about embracing your identity and increasing your authenticity and self-love. In this way you can create your own life within the system, which may not yet be ready to recognize and support us as such.

  • Poetry and writing (online) workshop

    Workshop leader: Janissa Jacobs
    Languages: English

    This workshop is about poetry for diversity and inclusion. Participants are encouraged to use poetry and creative writing as an outlet to explore racism and discrimination and as a source of healing. There are no rules in creative writing, so this workshop is about sharing stories and expressing your voice.

  • The connecting power of stories (livecast at Pakhuis de Zwijger)

    Time: 19:00 – 21:00


    • Walk in with DJ Shug La Sheedah
    • Spoken word by Smita James
    • Motivational keynote by Aminata Cairo
    • In-depth interview by Anna Tijsseling
    • Q&A with audience (via zoom)

    Languages: English and Dutch 

    Each of us has a story - stories about where we come from and where we are heading. A good story connects us, makes us look into the mirror of our humanity and helps us express common values.

    'If you don’t see that your story matters, chances are no one else will either. So even though it isn’t always easy, it’s important for you to find the strength to share your truth. Because the world needs to hear it.' - Michelle Obama