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Virtual EDI Festival 2021

Partnership and EDI

The University of Amsterdam and the University of Birmingham intensified their collaboration with a strategic partnership. Both universities have worked together for a number of years in the area of staff and student exchange, and they now strengthened their collaboration focusing on the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Signing the partnership on 2 July 2019 should inspire new opportunities for students and staff to work together and create new synergies. University of Birmingham's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassadors will organise a virtual festival to underline the value of equity, diversity and inclusion. They invited the Exchange Ambassadors of the University of Amsterdam to help out with the organisation.

EDI Festival female painted face

Intersections of Cities: Amsterdam meets Birmingham

The EDI Festival is a month-long celebration starting on 3 February 2021, bringing students and staff together to embrace the diversity of our community and ignite broader conversations about how we can foster a more inclusive student community.


EDI Festival Amsterdam canal by night

Inclusive Cities

Date: Wed 3 February 2021 (event ended)

Time 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm (GMT)

Time 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm (CET)

To watch a recording of this event, please click here

The first webinar of this event will be hosted by student ambassadors Kamil Rog and Amira Ismail. Dr. Eva Garcia Chueca from the Barcelona Centre For International Affairs will kick off the webinar to speak on advancing urban rights that underpin equality and diversity in the city. Birmingham’s Dr. Phil Jones will then chair a panel discussion, joined by Dr. Chueca and Dr. Justin Varney (Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council), and Simion Blom (from the Amsterdam green party GroenLinks), to have a dialogue around community cohesion and inclusivity in diverse cities like Amsterdam and Birmingham.


Students and wall of portrait photographs

Gaybourhoods in Amsterdam and Birmingham

Date: Tue 16 February 2021 (event ended)

Time 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (GMT)

Time 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CET)


To watch a recording of this event, please click here:

After successfully kicking off this virtual festival with a webinar on ‘Inclusive Cities’, we now invite you to our second event! Student ambassadors Terri Peters and Susana Allotey will host a webinar on ‘Gaybourhoods in Amsterdam and Birmingham’. Amsterdam’s gay districts are unquestionably world renown. On the other hand, Birmingham also has an established Gay Village area in the city centre for decades. These “gaybourhoods” typically had a humble beginning at the rougher parts of the city centres when social attitudes and laws were at odds to LGBT inclusion. Steph Keeble, Director of Birmingham LGBT, and Bas Zwiers, business leader of Amsterdam neighbourhood initiative Alle Kleuren Oost* will have a conversation with the webinar audience about the meanings, the importance, and the future of these spaces and venues in face of urban redevelopment, changing communication habits, and the recent challenges brought by the pandemic. The webinar will also be part of University of Birmingham’s LGBT History Month programme.

* Want to know more about Alle Kleuren Oost, please watch this video (only in Dutch)


Library University of Birmingham, UK

Visualising the Diversity of Amsterdam and Birmingham

Date: Mon 22 February 2021 (event ended)

Time 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm (GMT)

Time 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (CET)

To watch a recording of this event, please click here:

Student ambassadors Safaa Souri, Eline Troquay and Raneem Alterkawi will host the third webinar of the EDI Festival.Amsterdam is globally known for its diverse culture. The history of Amsterdam tells the story of a trade city that attracted people from all over. Some only passed through, but others settled in the bustling city. Nevertheless, each left a mark on the city and its culture in their own way. Fast forward to 2021 and we find a city that is filled with influences from different cultures. Kelly Nieuwenhuis and Maxime Gerber will offer you a virtual tour through Amsterdam, discovering different locations throughout the city and how the concepts of equity, diversity, and inclusion are present. This visual and interactive presentation will echo with Dr. Pen Mendonca’s upcoming project to co-develop an illustration of EDI and our two cities with the student ambassadors from UoB and UvA.


Eyeless crowd animation

Embedding EDI: Students, Staff and City

Date: Wed 24 February 2021

Time 10:30 am - 11:30 am (GMT)

Time 11:30 am - 12:30 am (CET)

To watch a recording of this event, please click here:


The fourth and final webinar of this EDI Festival will be hosted by student ambassadors Kamil Rog and Dila Gormus. To close this festival, Professor Jo Duberley and Dr. Anne de Graaf will jointly speak on the EDI research and initiatives from both institutions about embedding EDI for our students, staff, and cities. We will have a dialogue about the challenges on EDI in higher education, the impacts that are caused by the pandemic to our campuses and communities, and our vision of the collaborations between Amsterdam and Birmingham.