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20.04.2023 from 
Study + Teaching
One Uni for all

BIPoC - that stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. A BIPoC unit was recently founded at the University of Magdeburg with the goal of creating a place where students can meet, exchange ideas and network. One of the two founders, Laila Hammouda, says: "When I came to Magdeburg, I definitely wanted a network and didn't find one. That's when a friend and I started it ourselves."

Portrait of the student Laila Hammouda in front of a staircase (c) Anna Friese / Uni MagdeburgLaila is studying for her master's degree in Magdeburg and founded the BiPoC unit with another student. (Photo: Anna Friese/University of Magdeburg)

Laila moved to Magdeburg to get her master's degree in environmental psychology. Here she met Eli Santiago, who had had the idea of founding a unit for some time and decided to help her. The foundation went surprisingly uncomplicated.

"Of course, you have to fill out and submit some things, but through the contact with the student council, it all went without a hitch," says Laila Hammouda. Among other things, the now official unit has also been given a room on campus to organize meetings. Since the founding happened during the exam period, there wasn't much time at the beginning to find fellow campaigners and plan events. Now, at the beginning of the summer semester, the founders and members of the BIPoC unit are motivated to get started. With their actions, they not only want to create a space for exchange for their target group, but also advocate for racism awareness at the university.

"It is important to us to draw attention to the fact that no place is free from possible racism. By establishing the unit, we want to bring awareness to that," says the master's student. Addressing the issue and speaking openly about the problem is one of the unit's central goals. "Empowerment, I think the word sums up our work quite well." By that, she says, she means being able to represent one's own interests in a self-determined way and to shape them independently.

All BIPoC students at Magdeburg University can look forward to future meetings. Those who want to get involved with the unit, learn more about its work, or simply stay informed should follow the Instagram account @bipocref.unimd or write to . "It doesn't matter how much time or what skills someone brings to the table, everyone is welcome to help out," says Laila.

The unit informs about info events and actions against racism on its Instagram account. For all those who are not BIPoC but would like to get involved, sharing information and action dates is a good way to get involved.