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 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.
Diversity Ambassador Podcast #01 - Introduction
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.
Diversity Ambassador Podcast #02 - First impressions of Germany
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.
Diversity Ambassador Podcast #03 - Culture shocks
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.
Our Diversity Ambassadors
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.
Anita is a Master Student of Psychology and a Sickle Cell Warrior who is living with a disability. After working at the Campus Library for Mathematics and Computer Science for four years, she has gathered a host of experience dealing with diverse groups of people. During this time, she also faced some challenges as a minority student that inspired and shaped her social identity.
She identifies as a black disabled Christian woman who immigrated from Nigeria to Germany for health reasons. She represents people with an immigration background, especially those living with chronic illnesses and visible or invisible disabilities. Her aim as a diversity ambassador is to raise awareness against racism and ableism as well as to promote inclusion.
Call for applications DAN for the summer semester 2023
We are looking for students who are interested in the topic of Equality & Diversity. People who want to do their part to make this society a better place for ALL.
Employment period 01.04.2023 to 30.09.2023. The working time would be 4-6 hours a week and requires regular presence on campus.
Payment is according to the tariff agreement for student employees. Due to the funding guidelines of the project, only applicants with a non-German passport can be considered.
Please submit an essay (German, English or French) with a maximum of 500 words.
Please use the following guiding questions:
- Who am I?
- What are my social identities?
- What does diversity mean to me?
Interested students can register at diversity(at)uni-saarland.de by 31 January 2023 at the latest.
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.