A Comissão Fulbright Portugal celebra o Mês Europeu da Diversidade – maio 2020 e conta com o importante testemunho de Susanne Hamscha, Coordenadora do European Fulbright Diversity Initiative. Aqui ficam as suas palavras sobre o Programa Fulbright e o significado da diversidade desde o momento em que foi criado:

The Fulbright Program was established to promote “mutual understanding” and “turn nations into people.” The program’s key mission of forging peaceful relations through educational and cultural exchange entails an implicit commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as mutual understanding infers empathy, tolerance, the acceptance of difference, and a genuine attempt to see the world through someone else’s eyes. The program envisions a world in which we recognize each other’s humanity – a world in which we meet as human beings of equal worth and dignity. If we want the program to live up to its mission, we need to ensure every day that equity, fairness, and transparency are always our guiding principles. Everyone should have access to the opportunities the program offers, but we need to recognize that barriers exist and not everyone starts from the same place.

EU Diversity Month is a great opportunity to celebrate diversity raise awareness of inequalities that still need to be corrected at the same time. It is an opportunity to engage in dialogue, listen to each other, and appreciate the value of different perspectives and experiences. Senator J. William Fulbright has called his exchange program an “avenue of hope”: a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion, he believed, would increase our chances to live in peace and friendship. Addressing diversity and fostering inclusion enriches our program in multiple ways and contributes to realizing its original vision: a peaceful and hopeful future for humankind.

(photo credit: Dina Lee)

Dr. Susanne Hamscha is the Diversity Coordinator for the Fulbright Program in Europe (EFDI – European Fulbright Diversity Initiative). In this capacity, she offers diversity trainings, workshops, and seminars for Fulbright commissions, grantees, and partner institutions. Susanne is based with Fulbright Germany in Berlin and can be reached at hamscha@fulbright.de .