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University of Silesia in Katowice

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GEPARD | Summary of the GEPARD project at the international interdisciplinary conference entitled “Community of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion…”

10.04.2024 - 12:00 update 10.04.2024 - 12:08
Editors: OO

The first in Poland conference entirely dedicated to the issues of diversity and equity took place on 21-22 March 2024. The international interdisciplinary conference entitled Community of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Towards Supporting Well-being and Sustainability was organised by the University of Silesia in Katowice, supported by the event’s co-organisers: the Silesian Voivodeshipthe Metropolis GZM and ING Hubs Poland. The Conference took place as part of the City-Region-Academia stream within the European City of Science Katowice 2024, and was held under the honorary patronage of the Mayor of Katowice, with a special participation of UNICEF Poland.

The event was to create a space for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, beliefs, experiences and practices concerning the implementation of equality and diversity policies in diverse academic communities and beyond, set in diverse national and international socio-cultural contexts.

The event discussed the issues of understanding the term diversity depending on the perspective; gender and other individual and group profiles as areas of diversity; intersectionality in the reflection on, research on, and actions for diversity and inclusivity; challenges in implementing equality policies in various communities; ways to overcome challenges in the context of developing and ensuring the well-being of various social groups; scientific research; diagnosing, monitoring and evaluating the safety and problems of interventions in violating principles on equality; the meaning of inclusive language and problems of using it in practice; and education for equality and diversity.

A vital part and goal of the Conference was the presentation of the international GEPART project (Gender Equality Programme in Academia – Raising Diversity) and its final results in the form of an interactive platform at gepard-project.eu containing: the Universal Gender Equality Plan as a tool for developing and improving gender equality plans, handbooks for diagnosing, monitoring and evaluating equality policies, and a set of information and educational materials and scenarios for academic teaching.

The importance of the event was underlined in speeches by leading international and national political figures in terms of equality and diversity: Helen Dalli – European Commissioner for Equality; Roberta Metsola – President of the European Parliament, Katarzyna Kotula – Minister for Equality; and Marcela Linkova – an international expert and advisor to the EU on the situation of women in science and research. Apart from that, the Conference attracted vice-rectors responsible for the implementation of equality policies, representing universities of various countries, including Spain, Malta, Germany, Cyprus and the Czech Republic, as well as leading figures from the scientific world researching the issues of equality, gender and diversity: JosAnn Cutajar and Maureen Cole from Malta, Carmen Casas Vives from Spain, Caitriona Ni Laorie from Ireland and many Polish female researchers. A total of over 40 researchers and people responsible for the implementation of equality policies in various environments took part in panel discussions, delivered lectures or carried out workshops.

The Conference Community of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Towards Supporting Well-being and Sustainability gathered a stunning number of 600 participants. The Conference featured representatives from academia, business, non-governmental units, and public education sector, including a wide group of over 50 participants from such countries as Malta, Germany, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Ireland, Türkiye, the Czech Republic, China, Cameroon and the United States.

uczestnicy konferencji

Photo by Aleksandra Kiernas

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