Diversity Ambassadors Network
Diversity Ambassadors Network (DAN) is a project of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Management Unit at Saarland University in cooperation with the International Office. The International Office of Saarland University is funding this project for the years 2022 and 2023.
Project coordinators: Carmen Neis, Tamara Wagner, Lydia Gammelin
The Diversity Ambassadors on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/diversity_uds/
The Diversity Ambassadors Network (DAN) is an opportunity to participate in a change process that could shape the narrative on Diversity, Democracy, Racism and Discrimination at the university as well as in Saarland.
What does everyday life look like for people with different life models & abilities? What does everyday life look like for people with a different background? What is it like to live in Saarbrücken when you are just learning German? What hurdles are there? What steps can all sides take to reduce discrimination and fight racism?
The project 'Diversity Ambassadors Network' invites students to join a network at Saarland University to address experiences of racism and discrimination.
Diversity Ambassadors are students at Saarland University who would be trained and who would share concrete examples of barriers, racism, and discrimination faced by minorities with the people of Saarland using a variety of communication methods such as podcasts and video sessions. Diversity Ambassadors will use their expertise and experience to educate and provide personal insight on these topics.
Interested students should contact us at diversity(at)uni-saarland.de
We are looking for students interested in the topic of equality & diversity, someone who has the agency to do their part in making this society a better place for ALL. Both English and German language speakers are invited for this program.
They will receive a training and a platform to speak about the issues that matters to them. They will get an opportunity to interact with the larger community and make their voices heard. For this, they will receive special training. They will also receive a compensation depending on their qualification and experience. Due to the funding guidelines of the project, only applicants with non-German passports can be considered.
Diversity Ambassador Podcast
One of the activities of our Diversity Ambassadors is the recording of the bilingual Diversity Ambassador Podcast. You can find all previous episodes of the podcast here.
In the first episode, the Diversity Ambassadors Anita, Joviane, Priyasha and Thana introduce themselves. They talk about the creation of the Diversity Ambassadors Network and what diversity means to them.
The Diversity Ambassadors reminisce on how they came to Saarbrücken, what they consider the most beautiful places in Saarland and how they experienced their first day in Germany - with petrol station food and six layers of clothing.
Friendships, Spaziergänge, Saarländisch - the Diversity Ambassadors talk about culture (shocks), about how Germany differs from their home countries and about things they find strange about Germans.
Over-punctuality and maths aces? The new Diversity Ambassadors introduce themselves and talk about stereotypes - what they are, how they develop and how they can be counteracted.
Our Diversity Ambassadors
Hello! My name is Anita and I’m currently a Master student. I was born with Sickle Cell and I’m living with a disability due to complications of my medical condition.
After working at the Campus Library for Mathematics and Computer Science for four years, I have gathered a host of experience dealing with diverse groups of people. During this time, I also faced some challenges as a minority student that inspired and shaped my social identity.
I identify as a black disabled Christian woman who immigrated from Nigeria to Germany for health reasons. My aim as a diversity ambassador is to raise awareness against racism and ableism as well as to promote inclusion. I represent the interests of students living with chronic illnesses and visible or invisible disabilities.
Bryan is currently studying Cybersecurity as Bachelor students in University of Saarland. Being a minority for almost his entire life, he knows what it feels like to be the minority and this shapes his personality.
His aim here is to promote that every human, albeit very distinctive in personality between one another, is still human. Race, skin color, and even religion does not make us different, but our past experiences do. He hopes that with his work here, everyone will feel included and not left out.
Meet Divya (Dev), a dedicated student at ISZ Saar with a passion for fostering inclusivity. Through his work with underprivileged children and advocacy for mental health, Divya understands the transformative power of empathy. Guided by a philosophy that embraces human connections, he believes in the potential of every individual. Drawing inspiration from literature and storytelling, Divya amplifies diverse voices, empowering marginalised communities. With an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, he strives to create spaces where everyone feels heard, valued, and respected. Divya envisions a world where diversity is celebrated, barriers are dismantled, and compassion leads to meaningful change.
I'm Shakiba, a 24-year-old girl from Iran, now pursuing my M.A. in English linguistics. I came out as bisexual in my late teens and consider myself a nonreligious person. Having worked as a teacher for years, I made it my mission to teach my students about diversity, equality, and identity. Throughout my life, I have personally experienced gender-based undermining, which has motivated me to empower myself and future generations. As I understand the significance of diversity firsthand, as a Saarland University diversity ambassador, I am dedicated to promoting these values and creating a better and safer community.
Former Diversity Ambassors
Hello! My name is Thana (He/Him) and I am originally from Thailand. For me, the identities I think the most often are race and ethnicity. Regarding race, I feel that race distinguishes us based on physical appearance. And, race makes privileges for some people while frustrating the another group of people in different societies. Secondly, ethnicity represents cultures and languages of people. Same as the race, being some parts of ethnic groups could be stereotyped by people based on many factors. On the other hand, the identity I think the least often is the first language. I do not feel that first language matters in living as languages are tools for communication. If people could understand each other while talking, languages does not matter at all. The identity I would prefer learning more is gender. The reason behind this is that I met someone in the past online. By looking at the profile picture, I thought that this person was a girl. However, when I used “she” to call that person, she said back to me that I would accept to be called as “she” as she is a non-binary. At that moment, I deeply apologize to that person because I have never met the non-binary person before. Among all social identities, I feel that race still influences the most in terms of how I perceive myself as well as how others perceive me. Although I am Thai, my facial appearance looks more like a Chinese which makes people often misunderstand that I come from China. For example, when visiting Chinese restaurants in Germany, I am always greeted with Chinese language instead of German. Also, as I live in Asian longer than the European nation, I still feel that I still perceive myself as an Asian. In this case, cultures matter too as I still have an Asian mindset in living.
Thana Chaijeeratikul worked as a Diversity Ambassador until the end of 2022.
Hello, I'm so happy to be your Diversity Ambassador! I'm currently a Masters student at the university. I'm also a South Asian woman, 27 years old, and I speak fluent English, Bengali, Hindi, alongside a moderate level of German. I grew up between the US and India, and I've had the opportunity to travel to many places and have rich experiences in terms of the peoples, the cultures, the beauty of these places. I do not consider myself a religious person - I grew up in a very liberal Hindu household, and my upbringing was heavily influenced by the Christian schools I attended - so I have fond memories of the intentions and celebrations of both religions. Among other things, I enjoy baking, picnics, a good read, music, a box of paints, taking photos of everything I see, and long walks. My primary role throughout my life has been that of a caregiver, which I've had a difficult time balancing with my education, my personal life, and a world which is not so kind to everyone - this has led to a long and continued struggle with my mental health. But in some ways, it has also taught me to be more empathetic and kind, because it has made me realise that you truly never know what a person is going through, or how much pain they're in, and how just a little kindness could make someone else feel so much better.
Priyasha Chatterjee worked as a Diversity Ambassador until the end of 2022.
I grew up in a very religious and spiritual society and family. As a woman, I could not act like my brothers, and this influenced my perception a lot, as I was much more fixated on gender. As I grew up, I became more interested in my ethnicity to rediscover and better understand my culture without all these religious constraints. My development on the emotional level helped me to form my identity and become the person I am today.