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10 November 2020

True Diversity in Our Midst

Professors Mohamedou and Rodogno view diversity from a historical perspective. 

The Graduate Institute celebrates anew diversity this month.

This annual celebration is in line with the values historically professed and pursued by the Institute: excellence, collegiality and respect, along with solidarity, justice and diversity.

Values, however, are not merely feel-good posters, advertising that which we would like to be known for. Rather, values exist first and foremost only when enacted, only when given actual meaning. Honestly and lastingly.

Amongst these values of ours, diversity stands as a core component of how the Institute looks at the world, what it works to embrace and represent, and what it has become, or at least is becoming.

As we all strive to make sense of global affairs around us – their past, present and future – we bring such diversity of outlooks to such complexity of matters. We anchor those variegated perspectives in the multiplicity of the backgrounds embodied by our students, staff, researchers, fellows and professors. And we use those multiple outlooks and those various backgrounds to build a common platform with a community distinctly characterised by generosity of spirit.

Diversity should not be understood, as it is too often, as a mere code word for racial, ethnic, religious, gender, linguistic or geographic expansion of a traditionally-exclusive academic or professional environment. That is limitative, and indeed patronising to those “now included”. True diversity is intelligence, humanity and humility. It is the recognition that one’s enrichment is predicated upon exchange and sharing. 

That is the deeper diversity the Institute cherishes and the one it stands for, today more than ever.