Strategies Against Racism as a Cross-Cutting Issue for European Universities - Lecture and Workshop

October & November 2021. You find information on both events below.

The lecture:
"Racism in European Universities - Origins, Continuities and Ways of Expression" (open for everybody)

Monday, 25th of October 2021 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Lecturer: Aretha Schwarzbach-Apithy
Language: english, it is intended to translate the lecture into written transmission (in english)
Open for all audiences (Registration via short form necessary, see below)
You can register to attend the lecture until 6 pm on 25.10.2021.

Details: How does racism present itself in the education system, especially in former colonial powers and at universities, with their strong links to the European Enlightenment? Which impact does racism have on teachers, students and employees who are either affected by it and/or have the impression that racism is not an issue for them (so far)? ...
... Which knowledge is conveyed how, by whom, and for whom, and how it is generated is based predominantly on a discriminating mindset which is responsible for discriminating structures. With this mindset we will hardly be able to recognize the differences between tolerating diverse worldviews as additional references and a truly inclusive university teaching in all subjects. This tolerating paternalistic understanding also appears as a dominant component in the teacher-student-relationship.

The lecture is open to all interested persons – and aimed especially at teachers, students, employees – who want to gain an insight into the origins and effects of racism at universities. A perspective is offered to learn to recognize colonialist-marginalizing structures in academy, to question them and to exchange self-reflective ideas about one's own actions, thinking and speaking in within these structures.

About the lecturer:
Aretha Schwarzbach-Apithy
, trained educator; studied education and gender studies at the Humboldt University and the Technical University of Berlin; former doctoral student at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; she is a trained communication trainer, moderator and mediator.
She currently works as a lecturer in educator training and gives numerous lectures, seminars, workshops, and trainings nationwide (as well as in Cameroon and Austria) on feminism, freedom from discrimination in education, colonial racism, decolonisation and cultural awareness. The places where she has worked include, among others, the peace movement, the Böll Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO), Demokratie Leben, Europäische Jugendbildungs- und Jugendbegegnungsstätte Weimar, development cooperation organisations (ASA, Weltwärts, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)); various universities and church congregations.

The workshop:
"Strategies Against Racism as a Cross-Cutting Issue for European Universities" (application obligatory)

Part 1: Wednesday, 3rd of November 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Part 2: Wednesday, 10th of November 2021, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Online via Zoom
Workshop leaders: Jamie Schearer-Udeh & Timo Galbenis-Kiesel
Work units (à 45 Min.): 12
Language: english
Open for university employees of the ENLIGHT-member universities (after application). Application deadline: 22.10.2021.
The registration deadline has been reached, for questions please contact Pia Garske (contact in the side column)

This workshop offers an introduction to understanding racism and other forms of oppression and their impact in academic contexts. It will also offer access to a joint language and understanding to more adequately communicate about anti-racism. In addition to these prospects, which serve as a basis to be able to develop strategies for action, the course will offer opportunities for self-reflection on how individuals working at the university are entangled in systems of oppression, especially racism, and how this can be addressed in one’s own work context.
It is aimed at and only open for university employees, esp. those who act as multipliers (teachers, lecturers, researchers as well as science management staff)...

For People of Colour and Black participants the workshop will offer separate spaces for reflection on self-care, collective care, one’s own boundaries and manoeuvring structures of racism. White participants will take part in separate spaces to learn around their privileges and possible strategies of powersharing.
There are probably four ways we will work together: In plenary with everyone, in separate groups (in relation to positioning in the context of racism), in buddy pairs (also assigned along positioning beforehand) and in mixed working groups. We will definitely start and end together.
The workshop will close with a transfer on the individual’s possibilities how to participate in decolonising universities, as a possible strategy for action.

The workshop’s objectives include:

  • Understanding how historical systems of racism are still relevant to the current context today, especially the context of higher education
  • Understanding racism - what are the main characteristics of racism & any open questions from the group
  • Building a joint understanding of how racism looks, feels and sounds
  • Understanding how privilege and power manifest (and might be part of the culture of the organisation)
  • Identifying scopes for decolonizing activities
  • White participants:

    • Whiteness and white privilege
    • Understanding of power-sharing and complicity (allyship)
    • Evaluation of the current organisational context

  • Participants of Colour and Black participants:

    • Looking at resources that nurture and support while living under racism
    • What does self- and collective care mean and look like
    • Empowerment and resources in the context of racism

  • Decolonisation of higher education: options for action and transfer for participants' own practice

Forms and methods of coursework: The workshops will be using inputs, interactive tools and peer support mechanisms, offering plenty of space for self-led learning and individual reflection.

About the workshop facilitators:

Jamie Schearer-Udeh (Black, she/her/they) works as freelance trainer and consultant on matters of racism and intersectional forms of discrimination. She has co-funded multiple self-organisations of Colour in Germany and in Europe. Her political work started at the Initiative Black People in Germany supporting campaigning around racial profiling, language and racism, blackfacing and focused on community building. She moved on to co-found and lead the European Network of People of African Descent, which brings together Black organisers from Europe to support each other's campaigning efforts and move towards joint advocacy on the European and international level.
Over the course of the past five years she has moved successively into facilitation, where she was responsible for training development and implementation for organisations like NEON - New Economy Organisers and Campaign Bootcamp in Germany. 2018 she has co-initiated a leadership programme for non-binary, cis- and trans women of Color in Europe called Working On Our Power - WOOP.
Her work centres empowerment of marginalized communities as well as awareness building particularly around whiteness. Besides workshops and organisational development for NGOs around anti-racism and anti-oppression, she has been leading a training programme supporting facilitators to do build their skills on organisational support around anti-racism and anti-oppression structures.

Timo Galbenis-Kiesel (white, they/them or no pronoun) works since 2006 as freelance trainer, consultant and evaluator in regards of discrimination, racism and intersectionality. Timo has supported more than 100 NGOs on their journey to work in more power and racism critical ways over the past 13 years. They have also co-authored multiple brochures on how to move into racism critical practice within project work and organisational development. Currently, they are supporting a new generation of trainers on racism critical organisational development and facilitation and lead a year-long group of white people that are looking for a constructive way to engage with their privilege and find ways of power-sharing.

Timo and Jamie have successfully worked together in the past and see their different positionalities within their workshops as an asset in supporting the different individuals on navigating intersectional power relations.

Lecture and workshop can be attended independently of each other.
For members of the University of Göttingen, the workshop can be credited for the certificate programme in university didactics. Please contact Pia Garske (contact in the side column).


It is intended to translate the lecture into written transmission (in english). Please contact us as early as possible if you have any further needs for assistance, at the latest by 3rd of October.


Lecture and workshop are organised by the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Unit of the University of Göttingen within the framework of and funded by the DAAD project "ENLIGHT TRANSFORM".