In scope of the three-year “Diversity of Colours Project” started by the Queer Cyprus Association in December 2018, funded by the EU under Cypriot Civil Society in Action VI” Programme and implemented by Queer Cyprus Association, EMU hosted a conference titled “Diversity in Academia”. The said conference was organised improve access of LGBTI+’s to human rights and to raise awareness in the society.
Among those who attended the conference which took place at Rauf Raif Denktaş Culture and Congress Center Arsinoe Hall at 9:30 a.m. on 30 November 2019 were EMU Deputy General Secretary Rıza Ömer Çinkılıç, academicians and students from different universities, and representatives of Queer Cyprus Association. Delivering an opening speech at the conference, Queer Cyprus Association Dıversity of Colours Project Coordinator Erman Dolmacı provided information about the project and emphasised the importance of breaking prejudices based on sexual orientation and gender identity in society. Dolmacı added that they plan to hold this meeting regularly every year. The keynote speaker of the conference, Emilie Crozet, Director of the Civil Society Program of the European Union Support Office, stressed that their support for the Queer Cyprus Association will continue.
Four Sessions Held
The opening presentation of the conference was delivered by Dr. Clara Barker. In her presentation titled ‘LGBTI + Inclusion in Academia’, Barker talked about the challenges that LGBTI + individuals face in the US and UK and provided samples from the challenges she faced in her career. Dr. Barker added “The most cited academic articles are multidisciplinary and diverse. However, there is a negative attitude towards gender diversity in the world of science. This is a contradiction in itself.” Following the opening speeches, the first session titled Human Rights of LGBTI +s and Awareness” was held. During the session moderated by Artist Özgül Ezgin, EMU Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology academic staff member Assoc. Dr. Şenel Hüsnü Raman, Queer Cyprus Association Lawyer Adv. Faika Deniz Pasha and Near East University Faculty of Law academic staff member Assoc. Dr. Eylem Atılgan delivered presentations.
Fezile Osum Delivered the Closing Speech
The second session of the conference titled “Academy and Activism” took place under the moderation of EMU Faculty of Communication New Media and Journalism Department academic staff member Assoc. Dr. Hanife Aliefendioğlu. In the second session, LAU Psychological Counseling and Guidance Experts Raşit Kutlu and Fatoş Erkıvanç and Cyprus University Master’s Student Sarah Adra Petridou delivered presentations. The third session titled “Science and Literature” was held under the moderation of EMU Faculty of Communication Department of Cinema and Television academic staff member Assist. Prof. Dr. Yetin Arslan. In the third session, activist, interpreter, project manager and cyclist Aydın Mehmet Ali, SPoD Academy Assistant Coordinator Sevcan Tiftik and Pride in STEM Founder Dr. Alfredo Carpineti made a presentation. The fourth and final session of the conference titled “Youth and Education” was moderated by Kaan Berkan, Research Assistant at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In the session, Queer Cyprus Association Psychologist Ziliha Uluboy, Queer Cyprus Association Member Doğukan Gümüşatam and Mesarya Women's Initiative Activist Hare Yakula made presentations. Following the completion of the sessions, the closing speech of the conference was delivered by Fezile Osum, President of the Queer Cyprus Association. President Osum thanked all those who contributed to the organization of the meeting as well as the participants.