Raising awareness and making changes

In recent weeks, thousands of people, including HKU staff and students, have taken part in one of the many demonstrations by Black Lives Matter. HKU University of the Arts Utrecht feels it is important to make a statement about this.
We are aware that racism exists, at institutional, group and individual level, and therefore also at HKU. We declare ourselves fully and unreservedly against racism and against any other form of discrimination on the grounds of gender, appearance, origins or religion. We support the Black Lives Matter movement with all our heart, because it is time to make necessary and fundamental changes.

We are therefore asking every member of staff and every student to show respect and compassion and to enter into dialogue. We are calling on you to connect and to remain connected. Although we have no quick and easy solutions, we want to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions, express anger and give pointers and ideas for actions that help to make HKU inclusive.

The world and the arts, of which we are all a part, are confronted with difficult, but unavoidable questions. We share the pain and frustration experienced by many in our community. Listening to each other’s opinions, trying to understand and at least showing recognition are the start of concrete actions, for which we need everybody’s knowledge, creativity and experience, in our aim to realise an inclusive HKU.

This is facilitated by HKU in a variety of ways, such as creating platforms, through our recruitment policy and the promotion of expertise. We want to discover our blind spots, learn from one another and continue to develop a concrete policy. This is in line with the inclusive HKU we strive to be. That is our goal.

Roelof Bleker en Heleen Jumelet, Executive Board of HKU