Inclusion and diversity at BK
Roberto Rocco has been appointed Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Bouwkunde with the goal to advise the dean and help shape faculty policy and propose action on inclusion and diversity. “As an outsider, I have experienced issues of inclusion and diversity very personally in my life at TU Delft, not always positively. This has given me the tools, the curiosity and the ideas to see diversity and inclusion as highly positive assets and opportunities rather than “problems”, says Roberto.
A BK diversity and inclusion steering group will be formed under the leadership of Roberto. This group will be composed by students, academic and non-academic staff and representatives from each department. The goals are to increase awareness, to find ways to include diversity in the curriculum (including post-colonial and gendered studies), and to give advice on arising issues in the BK community. This group will work closely with the dean and the departments to organise discussion and education on diversity. Roberto will also liaise with TU Delft Diversity officer, Professor David Keyson, and representatives from all faculties, to give advice on issues of diversity at university level.
Roberto brings diversity to the forefront of the courses and activities he organises, because he also believes diversity and inclusion can be learned. “We are all leaners in a world that is in constant change, and we must be patient and open to discuss issues frankly”. Further, he would frame the discussion on diversity within the role of Bouwkunde as a Dutch, but also global school of architecture and the built environment. This role as a global school means that BK is a model for schools around the world. “We command a lot of attention and interest, and I would like to use this position to take the discussion on diversity and inclusion in education for architecture and the built environment much further, framing it as a huge opportunity to discuss the huge societal challenges that we must face as architects, designers, planners and managers of the built environment”.
Roberto has formulated eight points of action for the coming two years:
- Diversity Steering Group formation; minimal representation: one staff member from each department, one student from each department, one non-academic member of staff. In this he encourages anyone who feels committed to join meetings, as long as they commit for at least one year. There is a good number of students who wish to join this initiative.
- Connect with David Keyson, the TU Delft Diversity officer.
- Connect with DEWIS (TU Delft women in Science) and TRUEU (LGBT+).
- Connect with student associations (also TU Delft-wide).
- Write profile for a possible visiting professor on issues of diversity/ inclusion/ race & space/ gender & space/ de-colonisation of the university.
- Imagine a short series of webinars on diversity and inclusion to LISTEN to BK community. This could be done with a keynote speaker by scholar/architect/designer followed by discussion.
- Short report on diversity and inclusion at BK (every two years).
- Roberto and the diversity group are available to give advice to MT/Departments whenever necessary.
You want to be part of the steering group or want to address any issue or idea about inclusion or diversity feel free to contact Roberto Rocco through: Diversity-BK@tudelft.nl