Anne de Graaf is the UvA's Chief Diversity Officer. Together with Diversity Officers from each faculty, she is a key player in shaping diversity policy at the UvA while working to promote equality, inclusion and diversity within the university. The Chief Diversity Officer is appointed for a term of three years.
Anne is a bridge-builder by nature. She primarily considers her role as CDO as that of being a facilitator: ultimately, the change must take place within our community itself. We must engage in dialogue with one another and be unafraid to challenge each other’s perspectives. Anne is happy to assist in this regard. With her vast experience of other cultures as well as her specialisation in international relations and marginalised groups, specifically youth, voice and agency, she has been hired to help lead the UvA toward greater equality, inclusion and diversity. President of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam describes Anne as someone with a broad view of diversity, a high level of ambition and the ability to forge connections, as well as sensitivity and flexibility.
Anne de Graaf has a wealth of international experience. Born in San Francisco, she attended Stanford University. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Anne has been focusing on issues related to war and peace, exclusion and justice for quite some time. Her work has taken her to every country in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia and Russia. Until recently, she was Head of Studies for Academic Core at Amsterdam University College, which is operated by VU University Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She continues to lecture there on the topics of human rights and peace building. Anne has written a wide variety of children’s books and novels for adults as well.
If the UvA is to become a place where everyone feels at home, represented and heard, a cultural transformation will need to take place. Such a change will take time and require a clear vision in addition to a well-considered approach. Learn more about this ambition in the section on vision.
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Chief Diversity Officer Anne de Graaf is supported by the CDO-team (Chief Diversity Officer-team). The team works together intensively to achieve the goals.
Fatima was born in Alkmaar, she currently lives in Amsterdam and is of Moroccan origin. She has a background in Social Work & Service at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA), and she studies General Social Studies at the UvA. In addition to her coursework, Fatima has been active in the Education Committee and as a board member at Amsterdam United, which is a superdiverse platform at the UvA.
Since 2006, diversity has become an important topic for Fatima, one that she engages in as part of her studies, her professional life, as well as her private life. In April 018, Fatima became part of the CDO team as Researcher/ Educator. Her role within the team includes coordinating the peer-to-peer academic mentoring program ADP (Academic Diversity Program), which aims to create a space wherein the unique characteristics of each student are fully appreciated. Through focusing on the intersectionality of gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, mental and physical health, as well as socioeconomic background, Fatima hopes to add depth, understanding and relativisation to the ongoing conversation on diversity. From her own life and experiences, Fatima aims to function as a role model and experiential expert supporting students from diverse backgrounds to develop themselves to their full potential.
For Fatima, diversity is a given, one that enables people to connect to and inspire each other; it is with this motivation that the Academic Diversity Program was established.
Alfrida was born and raised on Bonaire. Since 2015, she has been part of various grassroot organisations dedicated to the democratization and decolonisation of education, including the University of Colour, New Urban Collective and Diversity Forum (formerly Diversity Contact Group).
Within this network consisting of students, activists, and lecturers, she strives for inclusive and decolonial education. As an Afro-Bonairian woman, she is able to transform her personal experiences facing discrimination, racism and colonialism into valuable knowledge for her work. Alfie is currently finishing her Masters degree in Media Studies at the UvA. She is specializing in Digital Humanities and has a particular interest in how social media can be used to create ‘safe’ spaces for support, healing and decolonial education.
Alfrida has been working with the CDO team since April 2018. Her tasks as Researcher/ Educator include conducting research on inclusive education practices, diversity literacy and tracking systems that can be used to enhance diversity and inclusivity at the UvA. She is also responsible for organising monthly events such as discussion evenings and panel discussions.
Tarim has been involved with initiatives and organisations dedicated to strengthening the position of vulnerable societal groups in the Netherlands since 2013. From Tarim’s own experiences as a queer transgender person of Dutch-Senegalese origin, they have mainly dedicated themselves to anti-racism and addressing cis- and heteronormativity. Since April 2018, they have been working as a Researcher/Educator for the CDO team. During their studies in Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology, they have focused on how the exclusion and suppression of vulnerable people is shaped by colonial culture. As a student of a research Master in Archaeology, Heritage and Memory, and as Researcher/ Educator of the CDO team, Tarim hopes to contribute to a widespread awareness at the UvA regarding exclusion and discrimination, as well as how we can take action through learning to deal with differences in a respectful way. Within the team, Tarim is responsible for mapping different discussions and perspectives regarding diversity within the UvA, for the development of a shared and respectful vocabulary to make difference discussable, and for exploring various possibilities to support critical students and staff who work on diversity-related issues.