When students experience racism, we are there for them with our Anti-racist Mailboxes at four different locations at the University of Potsdam. In everyday life, we are often exposed to racist statements, actions, and content. We may be afraid to disclose them publicly. Without having to give their own name, students can describe such experiences in a letter and drop it in one of the mailboxes. They can decide for themselves whether they want feedback on their letters or not. The mailboxes will only be emptied by us, the Anti-racism Officers of the AStA.
The letters we receive from our fellow students are about experiences of debasement: for example, when a person inquiring about a product in the supermarket is treated rudely by an employee because, in their view, their German is insufficient. Or when a bus driver doesn't stop at night even though the stop button has been pressed – because the passenger is a Person of Color.
We also offer students who are confronted with racism in their everyday lives initial counseling by e-mail, Zoom, or in person at our AStA office. In the process, we inform them about professional counseling and complaint services. We also organize workshops, discussion panels, and other formats, for example on the situation of refugees in Germany or on the problems of international students without German language skills.
Mailboxes can be found at the following locations:
Golm campus: Building 18, lobby of the library (foyer on the campus side);
Am Neuen Palais campus: Building 8, hallway leading to the cafeteria;
Griebnitzsee campus: Building 6, foyer;
Rehbrücke campus: Institute of Nutritional Science, entrance
We also plan to set up a digital Anti-racist Mailbox for students at our university so they can reach us at any time via app.
This text was published in the university magazine Portal - Eins 2022 „Diversity“(PDF).