Diversity in the Crisis

“The drawbridges are going up” was the headline in Spiegel Online in Germany on 18.3.2020[1] and further stated:  “Europe is sealing itself off”.  It is not doing this to prevent migration, but to contain the spread of a virus, but freedom of movement in Europe, openness to people from other European countries is no longer given. In addition, in many European countries there are exit restrictions, schools and other educational institutions are closed, sports and cultural clubs have stopped working. The places where people of different origins meet and exchange ideas are closed. People should stay at home, in their environment, in their community.

Increasing racism is also being experienced by people who look Asian. “With the worldwide spread of the lung disease Covid-19, racist and discriminatory attacks on people who are assumed to be of Chinese origin are on the increase,” Amnesty International stated on 19 March 2020. Reports like that of a Swiss woman with Asian roots who experiences and describes discrimination and exclusion[2] can be found in the media of various European countries and in large numbers on the hashtag #iamnotavirus. Scapegoats were sought and quickly found. The willingness to outlaw someone in a crisis because of his presumed origin, his appearance as a guilty party is widespread.

The adult education institutions in the partner countries involved have currently had to cease their work. When they reopen, they should present themselves in a special way as diverse, open institutions after the months of isolated life, the experiences of exclusion of Asian people, and should force the cooperation of people of different origins, culture or religion. The Diversity Capacities project can make an important contribution to this by supporting the organisations with recommendations and their implementation on the way to becoming intercultural institutions.

DivCap website adminDiversity in the Crisis