Diversity & Inclusiveness

Number 2

Sounding Board on Diversity Policy urges University to be more inclusive
Leiden University is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of diversity and inclusiveness, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. This is the key message from the first annual report of the Sounding Board on Diversity Policy, presented to Vice-Rector Hester Bijl on 15 February.

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Deze nieuwsbrief in het Nederlands lezen
With this newsletter the Diversity Office of Leiden University will keep you informed about diversity and inclusiveness activities.
Sheila Sitalsing presents Annie Romein-Verschoor lecture

On 8 March, International Women's Day Sheila Sitalsing will present the Annie Romein-Verschoor lecture 'The Angry Woman' at the Academy Building. Referent is Aminata Cairo. The lecture will be in Dutch.

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Start of second phase of diversity policy

On 10 January the Executive Board proposed the outline of the new diversity, equal opportunities and inclusiveness plan. The new plan builds on the aims of the 2014-2016 working plan. The focus now is on making the plan more sustainable and embedding the current diversity policy within the organisation. This means more involvement and collaboration among all parts of the institution to make Leiden University more diverse and more inclusive than ever. The definitive working plan will shortly be available on the website.

Buddy programme for master’s students

A new buddy programme for master’s and research master’s students at the Faculty of Humanities is up and running! Already 60 new students have been connected with 13 buddies. The buddy steers the new student through his or her new study environment and is the first port of call for any questions. The Faculty’s aim with this programme is to give new students a warm welcome and make them feel part of the faculty community. There is also a Facebook page, as well as plans to continue the programme for students who start next year. For more information, please contact James Hewitt,

Let's Talk

The Diversity Office offers Let’s Talk sessions at the Meeting Point every third Thursday of the month. Let’s Talk sessions are small gatherings where people from all parts of Leiden University, from staff to students, can gather to connect. The idea is that someone from the community will tell their story, after which there will be a guided discussion to engage with the story. You can also request a Let’s Talk session for your group. To schedule a Let’s Talk session, please contact Aminata Cairo,

Want to talk to us?

Every Thursday from 12.00-16.00 hrs, a Diversity Office staff member will be available for meetings at the Meeting Point. If you have questions or ideas about diversity or inclusion relating to yourself, your classroom activities or your organisation, feel free to discuss them. Please contact Aminata Cairo to make an appointment:

Diversity Think-tank

With its very own Diversity think-tank the Institute, The Institute for History wants to give ‘diversity’ a prominent place on the agenda of the Institute. The starting point of the diversity policies to be developed is that everyone has to feel welcome at their workplace. The think-tank will compile information, bring the attention of the Institute towards specific issues and advise on the matter at stake. Colleagues who want to give suggestions and share their experience should be directed to

Community engagement project: Diversity in Action

Aminata Cairo (Diversity Office) and Ann Wilson (Leiden University College) are offering a community engagement/research course entiteld: Diversity in Action. In two projects seven young people learn how to apply fieldwork methods to engage practically with diversity and inclusion. In the first project they will collect stories of inclusion and exclusion from Leiden University campus members. These stories will be used to create a resource database that can be accessed for learning purposes and the development of training courses and presentations. In the second project, students will help produce a readers’ theatre performance of stories for children of the transgender community.

More news
Judi Mesman receives NWO-Vici grant
Working with a disability
8 March: Annie Romein-Verschoor lecture
15 March: information meeting teacher training for refugees
16 March: Let's Talk meeting
21 March - 11 April: Training Inclusive education
5 April: student conference Diversity and Inclusiveness
20 April: conference Studying with a disability
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