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020's approach towards equality

Promoting diversity and inclusion in our university community has always been a pillar at 020. Our political party strives to bring an inclusive and bottom-up change to UvA. This comprises two key principles. The first is a progressive, democratic approach to the collective and the environment. The second is an active, pragmatic role in understanding the limitations of institutions, and the need to carefully assess the costs, benefits, and unintended consequences of our actions. Adapting the way we study to fit a changing world implies acknowledging the issues our society currently faces and, possibly, implementing appropriate changes to our routine.

As with any societal challenges, our words and actions have an impact on our surroundings, even when it is not easy to perceive. In this blog post, we will give you an overview of little things you can do in your daily life to promote and celebrate diversity.

So, are you willing to put the effort in and take a step towards a more inclusive community at UvA?

First, it is important to take a stance against discriminatory and harassing behavior. Denouncing it does not just mean calling out a person for saying something racist or homophobic, it also means educating people. Getting offended may be a reflex reaction, but having the patience to politely confront and explain to somebody why what they said or did is actually offensive will have a bigger impact. Moreover, avoiding jokes about stereotypes and incorporating positive language when talking to others are simple ways to be inclusive.

Second, almost everybody has unconscious biases. Although this is not wrong and sometimes inevitable, maybe due to past experiences, it is necessary for people to recognize these biases and learn how to manage them. If you do not know how but are willing to work on it, consider joining a diversity workshop.

Third, raise awareness and celebrate cultures other than your own. You can do so by acknowledging holidays of different religions, trying out new cuisines, and taking part in traditional art performances. And who knows? Maybe these will spark a new interest in you.

Finally, promoting equality starts with substantive representation. Every person should have the chance to express their opinion directly or indirectly. If you want to contribute to this, consider becoming a 020 student council candidate and you could get the chance to really bring change at UvA.

We hope these tips will help you and remember: “Progressive pragmatism means being ferocious in your ideals and practical in making them tangible”.

Article by Vanessa Toraldo

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