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Diversity in Action


General Information

  • Supervisors and e-mail contacts:
    Dr. Aminata Cairo (
    Dr. Ann Marie Wilson (

  • Majors: Open to all

  • Number of students: 4-6

Research context

“Diversity” is a hot item topic that is regularly addressed and discussed from the classroom to the boardroom. In terms of policy, diversity has generally been approached as a problem issue, whereas now it is hailed as a target goal of excellence. Needless to say there is still a lot of confusion about what diversity entails, its value, and how to truly engage it.

This clinic gives students the opportunity to engage in two diversity related projects that are aimed at enriching the larger community:

In the **Personal Story Project **students will help collect stories of inclusion and exclusion from members of the Leiden University community. Students will learn interviewing techniques, will collectively decide on a plan of action, and will engage in written, audio, and video data collection. Students will assist in designing a plan for how these stories can be of best use for improving understanding of diversity at Leiden University. Students will also be required to keep a diary of their experiences executing the project.

In the Transgender Children’s Literature Project students will assist in the production of a reader’s theater production of stories written for children from the transgender community. They will work closely with the Leiden International Arts and Theater

Foundation who will create the theater production. In addition they will assist in researching and organizing the fundraising component of the publication of the children’s stories. Students will also be required to keep a diary of their experiences executing the project.

All students will initially receive training in ethnographic research and community engagement skills. They will be expected to work collaboratively in teams. After initial training and planning students will meet periodically with Dr. Cairo.

Tasks and activities

Under the direction of Dr. Cairo students will:

  • Undergo a training in ethnographic research and community engagement

  • Interview community members

  • Execute audio and video editing

  • Assist in production activities: logistical organizing, advertising, etc.

  • Organize and manage a fundraising campaign

  • Write in a journal

  • Work on collaborative teams

Requirements / notes:

  • There are no set prerequisites. Interested students should submit 1) a brief cover letter explaining their motivation, and 2) an indication of their major, together with a list of related coursework already completed (could be methods or subject-area courses, though there is no set requirement for either).