International academic conference on the theme of inclusiveness. The title of the conference is ‘Growing together: celebrating diversity and fostering inclusion’. It is part of the University of Groningen’s 405th anniversary lustrum themed ‘All Inclusive’ and will take place on 6 and 7 June 2019 in the Academy building.
The versatile subject of the conference is described as follows by the Academic Council, chaired by Dr Mónica López López: ‘Growing’ refers to the University both getting older and developing in different ways. Growing evokes how academia cultivates and nurtures new ideas as seeds of innovation. There is power in growing ‘together’: it unites us, strengthens our bonds and provides us with a sense of belonging. Togetherness plays an important role in achieving societal change as well.
The verb ‘celebrate’ was chosen to note the festive nature of the lustrum celebration, but it also accompanies the word ‘diversity’ to signify that diversity should not merely be tolerated but that it is something to be celebrated. Diversity encompasses the dimensions of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religious beliefs as well as other ideologies. For us, diversity means respect, acceptance and celebration of these rich dimensions represented within each person. We chose to add ‘inclusion’ as we contend that inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity but something we should strive for, something to actively ‘foster’.
The conference programme features speakers from around the globe to bring together their knowledge at the University of Groningen. Keynote speakers include Professor Philomena Essed, Professor Glenn Adams, Professor Jonathan Jansen and Dr. Saran Stewart. Other speakers include Clarice Gargard, journalist and Dutch UN women’s representative, Professor Janet Thompson Jackson, and many more.
The afternoon programme of the conference will consist of different tracks, to cover subjects such as the analysis, measuring and implementing of social inclusion from institutional, academic and activist perspectives, inclusive societies and sustainable peace, the ways that diversity impacts society, ethics and integrity, intersectional perspectives, decolonizing methodologies and inclusive schools for inclusive societies.