Register for the Diversity and Inclusion: Challenging Implicit Bias symposium

Do you have any prejudices, and what are they? Find out on Thursday 5 November during the symposium on Diversity and Inclusion: Challenging Implicit Bias. Implicit biases are the stereotypes that influence our understanding, behaviour and choices. These will be the key topics of het symposium.

This is the occasion when Leiden University would like to celebrate with you the progress we have made with our diversity and inclusion strategy. The symposium will be held from 13.30 to 21.00 hrs., and is a University-wide event with an extensive program with speakers and workshops for students, managers, professors, researchers, lecturers and support staff. The Van Bergen Prize will be awarded at 18.30 hrs.

Afternoon programme

Philomena Essed (Fotograpy by: Hellen J. Gill)

Philomena Essed (Fotograpy by: Hellen J. Gill)

Vice-Rector Simone Buitendijk will introduce the concept of implicit bias and challenge the audience to address the issue. Philomena Essed, Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership Studies at the American Antioch University, will talk about the processes of ‘cultural cloning’ and the reproduction of durable inequalities in higher education. What role does implicit bias play in this process? Are there examples of how the deeper levels of organizational culture can be improved?

Philomena Essed is well known for introducing the concepts of “everyday racism” and “gendered racism” in the Netherlands and internationally. Recently, she edited a volume with Leiden University’s Diversity Officer, Isabel Hoving, that charts the spectrum of racism in the Netherlands.

Judi Mesman

Judi Mesman

Children, too, have prejudices from an early age. Judi Mesman, Professor of Diversity in Parenting and Development, studied how small children make gender distinctions even at a very young age. She will show how implicit bias plays a role in parenthood, education and the media. How do children learn stereotypes and how do these permeate through to their further lives?

Diversity Officer Isabel Hoving will give a brief overview of the status of the working plan on Diversity and Inclusion. There will be the opportunity for debate during the programme, after the presentations by the speakers and at the end of the afternoon.

Presentation Van Bergen Prize

Between the afternoon and evening programme a meal will be served and the Van Bergen Prize will be presented for the most effective and creative idea to bring together Dutch and international students.


The evening programme comprises a number of workshops organised by and for students, that are open for everyone:

Institutional racism
How can students become drivers of change within their university or in the outside world? How can we combat institutional racism, so that all students and staff feel recognised and welcome at the university? New Urban Collective from Amsterdam will make a presentation on campaigns that have raised the dialogue on racism and diversity. The participants will then get to work developing concrete ideas.

The importance of LHBT organisations
The legal position of lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders in the Netherlands has improved over the years. Does that mean that all the problems have now been resolved, or is it still important to promote the interests of LHBTs? Do LHBT students still come across implicit bias along with open discrimination and violence? A number of LHBT organisations (COC Leiden, A.S.V. Gay) will share their experiences and debate the issues with the public.

Implicit association and stereotyping
In this workshop the Islamic student association  aims to create awareness of the influences of implicit  association and stereotyping, the consequences and how you can recognise these traits in yourself. SABR’s aim is to promote the integration of Muslim students and to share interesting information about Islam with both Muslims and non-Muslims.   

More information & registration

The symposium will take place on Thursday 5 November from 13:30 to 21:00 hrs. in the Kamerlingh Onnes Building in Leiden. Participation is free. Watch the program.

You can no longer register for the symposium.

If you have any questions about the symposium, Mirella Imthorn at the Events Office will be pleased to help you. You can reach her via or 071 527 31 35.


Last Modified: 05-11-2015