While thinking of a title for this article we played around with several possibilities: help, empower, to whom do we turn to. In the end, we acknowledged that we all need some help or support at some point in our lives and reaching out should become instinctual and not something that we have to overthink. We often hesitate to ask for assistance because of fear that this act is viewed as a sign of weakness. In fact, this shows strength.
This month of April saw two Safe Space theatres hosted by Student Affairs department to engage students and staff in conversation about social safety and what this means. How to deal with transgressive behaviour and abuse of power? When is a situation unsafe and who decides that? Social safety is an important topic within our society; so too within our university.
In May and June, Radboud University will again host two DEI Antibias Theatre Workshops. Here shared stories are acted out on stage by a team of professionals. They wonder aloud how they can create a 'safe space', bridge differences, explore and address power relations and questions what diversity really means, for example. These scenes act as windows into prejudice, everyday behavior and issues of gender equality and breaking the glass ceiling; physical or psychological limitations that (un)consciously lead to distance from the labor market; construction of barriers when it comes to individuals with different identities (such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, appearance, language and immigrant status as well as other identity-based characteristics).
This workshop is our way of offering support or help. It gives you students and staff, leaders and members of teams, opportunities to address serious issues that you encounter and allows you to engage in some difficult conversations. It seeks to give you the tools to sit with discomfort in a safe space. Do we understand each other? Can we bridge differences?