What difference does it make? This question was asked last Wednesday in Deventer during the event of the same name on ‘being yourself and more inclusive education.’ The ideas and stories shared at this well-attended afternoon session contributed to the topics of inclusion and happiness.
Host speaker Jörgen Raymann (Chief Inspirational Officer at Lenard and Lenard) told the visitors a fascinating tale. The high point of the afternoon was the signing of the ‘Let’s Talk About Yes’ manifesto. A manifesto against sexual violence which Saxion has fully endorsed for quite some time.
The event was attended by 140 people, both online and in person, and all of the free tickets had been given away.
William Sanchez joined Saxion as Diversity Officer last year. He had this to say: “We have a well-planned programme on diversity and inclusion. We look critically at Saxion itself and also at the students and the business community as a means to creating to a safe environment.
During the afternoon, Jörgen Raymann gave an inspiring talk on how much it helps if you grow up in an environment where ethnicity, orientation or disabilities are not an issue.
One section of the programme was devoted to the signing of the Amnesty International ‘Let’s Talk About Yes’ manifesto by Executive Board chairperson Anka Mulder and Saxion University Council chairperson Milan Wolf. “It’s all too easy to make policies, but we need to act on them. So how should we deal with transgressive behaviour? By signing this manifesto, we are making it clear that we do not accept transgressive behaviour. We can always do better and take steps to make Saxion an even safer environment,” says Sanchez. The Diversity Office is also committed to creating an open, safe environment. Do you need someone to talk to? Then the Diversity Office is the right place for you.
Lucy Bolsenbroek of the QUEER! student association is happy that Saxion has endorsed the manifesto. “People are always happy with our student association. Even though it is now 2022 we still hear some stories from students about nasty incidents. For the most part, things are going well but minor incidents can occur at times. That is why I am very happy that the manifesto is here now. It shows that Saxion takes personal safety very seriously, which means that it is easier for me to contact Saxion if there are any problems. Then we can work together on taking steps to make things better.”
Other speakers were Willeke Slingerland, professor of Resilient Democracy at Saxion, and Yunus Meijerink, head teacher of the Al Ummah primary school. After the event, there was an opportunity to chat about the topic over drinks.
Diversity and Inclusion
Saxion wants to be an organisation that makes the most of the diversity, talents and abilities of staff and students: An organisation where everyone matters, where everyone experiences this, can be themselves and feels at home.