"Diversity is a spearhead at NHL Stenden, but we are not there yet"

Diversity Day

“The best thing would be if diversity became a mandatory part of education.” Samara Sahar is a teacher education student and involved in IDARE, the platform at NHL Stenden that aims to promote diversity at the school.

“The platform is an important tool of reaching out to people who now feel unseen and heard. I hope they recognize themselves in the stories and know that they are welcome with us.' The platform was founded by the organization and that is positive in Samara Sahar's opinion.

"I notice that NHL Stenden is benevolent, but maybe they don't always know what works and what doesn't. For example, there are gender-neutral toilets and that's fantastic. But there are two and in one location so that can be difficult for people who feel comfortable going to these toilets alone. Last year we also had a booth during the open day where students came to tell their story. For example, I heard from a non-binary student that a teacher refused to address them in this way. That can be very hurtful. Unfortunately, bullying still occurs.”

To avoid situations like this, IDARE wants to start the conversation. Luna Niermann of IDARE and Creative Business student thinks that days such as Diversity Day and Coming Out Day could be a reason for this. “These are moments that you can seize to start communication. We are organizing a pub quiz on 4 October. Not only for students but also for teachers. Since forms of address are also a topic, we will organize a discussion via a webinar on November 10.'

Samara indicates that attention is already being paid to diversity in teacher training, and attention is also being paid to this at the Pabo, for example with Live Your Story. But IDARE is more than just the PRIDE movement, says Luna. Samara adds: 'It is indeed good to know that diversity is more than just the LGBTIQ+ movement. It is also about anyone who experiences barriers that can be in the field of gender, orientation, background or skin color, but also physical and mental limitations.'

And that is also the approach of Diversity Day on 4 October. Many large organizations are involved in this topic. Luna likes it, but she also remains critical: 'Some companies almost use diversity as marketing. They change their logo in rainbow colors, for example, but only in countries where it is safe to do so. If you really stand for it, then you do the same as Mercedes or Google in Saudi Arabia to make a point. I notice that it is different at NHL Stenden. I'm from Germany and I like that it's easy to talk about here and the gender-neutral toilets also show that NHL Stenden takes this topic seriously. Change starts with thinking and talking about the subject and this school is open to that.'