Bridge building

blog 29 OctBy Anne de Graaf.

My October

Happy end of October! This month has been a special month: On Thursday 11 October, we celebrated International Coming-Out Day. On that day I communicated: Happy International Coming-Out Day! Today we honor our friends and family who faced fear and did it anyway—the definition of courage. Make an effort to find and listen to the voices of the LGBTQIA+ people. The UvA supports all students, staff and faculty—instead of talking about others, today we listen.

And I meant that on 11 October we try to listen even better. Actually, we try to do this every day. People often ask me about how I spend my time. And I do do a lot of listening; I also find myself building bridges between different groups. I mentioned in my previous blog post that every week is different. During the second week of October I had the privilege of speaking at the international STEMM Equality Congress in Amsterdam, where UvA was a diamond sponsor, which meant our university played a primary role in supporting this important conference. What I said about opening up listening spaces and using negotiation techniques to promote cultural change, seemed to resonate. At the event, people from Norway and Canada and the U.S., as well as The Netherlands came up afterwards, asking for more information. The previous week I spoke at a diversity in higher education event sponsored by ECHO expertise center for diversity, where the UvA is a full partner. See this link for a description of that event and listen to our vlog.

Funding for grassroots initiatives

The CDO Team has exciting news! Every month the CDO Team budget has made funds available for grass-roots initiatives for students. €1000 per month is available! Do you have an idea about how to make the UvA more equitable, inclusive and diverse? Then please email Submit your application by the first of every month, to qualify for consideration the following month.

8 November Event: The State of Diversity at UvA: Meet the CDO TEAM

Welcome to our meeting where we listen to the UvA community and share about the work being done by the CDO Team. At our first event, the panel discussion will include guest speakers Inez Blanca van der Scheer and Zawdie Sandvliet. 18:30 – 21:15, CREA Muziekzaal, Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, 1018 WV Amsterdam. Be sure to let us know you’ll be there by sending an email to

Diversity Officers per faculty

Now that all our faculties have diversity officers, there are important decisions that need to be made regarding priorities and action plans. Several faculties have put together groups to talk about issues and possible solutions. Please contact your faculty diversity officer to participate in this exciting opportunity. You can find them here.

Office hours

And speaking of listening, all students and staff are most welcome to meet with the CDO Team during our office hours. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any suggestions or ideas by emailing


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