Universiteit Leiden

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Diversity and inclusiveness

  • Jan Terlouw, Barbara Love
Tuesday 13 November 2018
Breestraat 60
2311 CS Leiden

Why community is key

Leiden University believes it is important that all staff and students feel welcome and at home in the academic community. Only then can everyone work to their full capacity and get the best out of themselves. Diversity has many facets: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, age and socio-economic background are just some of them. Leiden University wants to offer an environment in which everyone feels at home and is accepted, and with which they can identify.

Each year, with the help of many people, our university is getting closer to being a place where all experiences can be shared, and where open-mindedness and innovation thrive. This raises a number of questions: Are we in fact on the right path? How do you together create an academic community in which diversity and inclusiveness are safeguarded? What should such a community look like, how can you as a member of staff or a student contribute to this community, and what obstacles might you come across? These are the themes of the annual diversity symposium to be held this year. 

This year’s symposium will offer lots of opportunities to talk about what our community should look like, and how we can create it together. The programme will be kicked off by two veterans who will share their views on the benefits of an inclusive community, and on the best ways to build one: Dutch former politician and writer Dr Jan Terlouw, and Dr Barbara Love (USA), who has coached many universities and other organisations to become more inclusive.


Chair: Domenica Ghidei Biidu

12.15 ‑ 13.00


13.00 ‑ 13.10

Opening by Vice-Rector Magnificus Prof. Hester Bijl

13.10 ‑ 13.50

Keynote speaker: dr. Jan Terlouw, Dutch former politician and writer 

13.50 ‑ 14.00


14.00 ‑ 14.40

Keynote speaker: dr. Barbara Love, University of Massachusetts at­ Amherst, USA

14.40 ‑ 15.00


15.00 ‑ 15.30

World Café - reflection and discussion

15.35 - 15.50 

Deans present the most inspiring ideas

15.50 ‑ 16.00

Past and future, interview with Diversity Officer Isabel Hoving

16.15 ‑ 17.45

Interactive workshops:

18.00 - 18.30       

Ceremony Van Bergen Award

18.30 - 18.45

Artistic reflection

18.45 ‑ 21.00



Deep democracy  - Yonathan Keren
Learn about Deep Democracy in this interactive introduction, a powerful five-step method for leading and managing groups inclusively. Deep Democracy is based on the principle that every voice counts. Decisions taken on the basis of the opinion of both the majority and the minority are the most valuable and in practice they are also the most sustainable.

Q & A with Dr Barbara Love - Dr Barbara Love
Has Barbara Love inspired you and do you want to discuss building an inclusive university community with her in a smaller group? Do you have questions or actual cases that you want to raise with her?  In this in-depth workshop you will have the opportunity to get answers to your questions or to discuss your chosen case.

Reacting to discrimination - Cemil Yilmaz and Jurriaan Omlo
The key question during this workshop is: How should we react to and deal with experiences of discrimination (‘coping strategies’)? This is the key question during the workshop. The trainers will inform participants about different coping strategies and explain their advantages and disadvantages. Participants can exchange their own experiences on how they handle discrimination. Through their experiences, people build up valuable knowledge, and they learn which coping strategies are effective in different circumstances and which are not, and why that is. The participants in this works can learn from one another, and will have the chance to practise using different strategies.    

Inclusive teaching - Students
The way a subject is taught has an important effect on the quality of the education, the level of understanding of the subject matter and the student’s development. Inclusive teaching is about the question of how you can reach everyone in your lectures and how you can encourage them to develop their abilities to the full. This workshop on inclusive teaching is offered by several different students. They will share their experiences and use different formats for entering into dialogue with participants. They will discuss the question of how changing the teaching curriculum, the physical environment, the way language is handled within the lectures and the awareness of prejudices can contribute to better and more inclusive education.

Inclusive leadership - Mischa Thompson
A leader is someone who takes responsibility for his or her own actions and for those of the environment. He or she makes choices based on this sense of responsibility. Leaders whose management style ensures that everyone feels involved and able to make optimum use of their own talents can be described as inclusive. This workshop is about what inclusive leadership is and how everyone can become an inclusive leader. 

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