Humanity in Action Fellowship in Amsterdam

Program Description

The Humanity in Action Amsterdam Fellowship offers a diverse yet thorough perspective on minority issues in The Netherlands. Our aim is to facilitate a collective exploration of the social and political roots of discrimination in The Netherlands and to provide a forum for the discussion of potential solutions. The Amsterdam Fellowship is highly interdisciplinary and bridges the gap between theory and practice by connecting Fellows with academics and journalists, as well as NGOs and grassroot activists. 

The intellectual touchstone for Humanity in Action and the start of Humanity in Action The Netherlands has always been the study of the Holocaust – the most devastating example of the collapse of democracy and the denial of rights to minorities. In the first week, Fellows will discuss the role the Dutch took during this period: perpetrators, resistance fighters, victims and bystanders. Fellows will also look at how The Netherlands has dealt with this period over the course of history. 

From this starting point, the Amsterdam Fellowship will continue to discuss more contemporary themes such as immigration and integration in The Netherlands, refugee issues, institutional racism, xenophobia, LGBTQIA rights, Islamophobia, diversity, disability and women's rights. We strive for an intersectional approach to all of these issues, as we are looking at the overlap and interconnectedness of these topics. The underlying rationale behind this being that you cannot discuss one topic without considering the others. As the theme of institutionalized racism in The Netherlands has been a highly debated topic in Dutch society over the past few years, it has become an important theme in the program. In 2016, we focused on the refugee issue, as that was the most pressing issue at the time. To be able to focus on the most recent developments, the programmatic content continues to be developed until the very start of the program.

The program staff in The Netherlands considers dialogue between its very diverse, transatlantic Fellows to be one of the most important ingredients of the Humanity in Action experience. We therefore stimulate group discussions and Fellows' contributions. However, these can only be positive and constructive if everyone feels respected, even when we disagree. Discussions often differ per country. Therefore, we will decide together how to create a safe space for all participants. We hope that Fellows will work with us to make sure that it will remain this way throughout the program. Every Fellow will be invited to contribute to the program with a ‘Fellow Talk’ – a presentation of half an hour on a subject close to their hearts or one that they feel is missing in the program. 

Organizationally, the Amsterdam Fellowship is divided into two phases. The first phase is an input phase: Fellows will meet with selected leading experts and the brightest commentators and researchers in The Netherlands. We will visit various sites and initiatives, but will also spend a lot of time in our lecture room. In the second phase of the program, Fellows will be working at an NGO on a topic related to what they had experienced in the previous weeks. This is very much a collaborative, international effort: the group will be divided into teams. After your two days of working with ‘their’ NGO, Fellows will be given time to write a report about it.

In the Amsterdam Fellowship, we will explore different ways of learning. Beside ‘old-school’ lectures, we will offer workshops, trainings, discussion groups, site visits, tours through Amsterdam by bike or on foot, museum visits, canal tours, theatre performances, public lectures and soccer clinics. In addition to the official program, there will be smaller and less formal events, organized in cooperation with the Dutch Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Network.

Please note that this is the 2017 agenda.

2017 Agenda

May 26

American, Greek and Bosnian fellows arrive in Amsterdam and go to their host families.

May 27

Introduction Weekend 
We will be starting the program together in a holiday farm near Gouda.  We’ll get to know each other, participate in a few key workshops, and we can test each other’s performance skills at the campfire. 
Location: De Rokende Turf, Watersnip, 's-Gravenbroekseweg 154, 2811 GK Reeuwijk                   
  • Introduction and welcome (Nawal)
  • Workshop: Lenka Hora Adema (Group dynamics, creating a safe space and supporting each other's learning process)

May 28

Introduction Weekend 

Location: De Rokende Turf, Watersnip, 's-Gravenbroekseweg 154, 2811 GK Reeuwijk 

  • Workshop: Talking to ‘Racists’ by Maja Nenadovic (coach, political consultant, researcher, human rights and advocacy trainer and identity de/construction educator)

This rhetorical self-defense workshop helps participants build resiliency, as well as the ability to respond to discriminatory remarks. In such situations, distress, heightened emotional state or plain shock can sometimes leave us tongue-tied. The rhetorical self-defense class teaches preparedness, and different methods of responding. It tries to replace the silence or tongue-tied shock with empowered, discourse-altering responses.

  • Workshop: Maja, part two.
  • Boat Trip: Leaving right from the accommodation on to the Reeuwijkse Plassen, with a bit of history. on the 'peat' industry in this area.

May 29

Introduction Weekend

Location: De Rokende Turf, Watersnip, 's-Gravenbroekseweg 154, 2811 GK Reeuwijk 

  • Departure Holiday House
  • Buddy time- Getting to know your buddy!: This time is for all the Dutch fellows who haven't met their Dutch Senior Fellow Buddy yet and for the Dutchies to meet theirs. Please make individual arrangement with your buddy via email beforehand. 

May 30

Intersectionality & Populism
Locations: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room
  • Fatma Kosar Kaya, chair board HIA NL: Words of welcome
  • Eduard Nazarski, director Amnesty NL: Words of welcome and introduction to Amnesty's work
  • Adeola Enigbokan, artist and urbanist, University of Amsterdam: Intersecting Stories: Resistance, Refusal and Other Ways of Being Together
  • Fellow Talk Tahmina
  • Fellow Talk Aaron
  • Koen Vossen, political historian, Radboud University Nijmegen: Populism in The Netherlands
  • Post Trump: Discussing in small groups (every group 2 US fellows) the impact of Trumps presidency on American society and human rights

May 31

Genocides, WWII & Anne Frank, Survivors, identity and morality

Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10, Amsterdam

  • Fellow Talk Darija
  • Fellow Talk Sharona
  • Abram de Swaan, professor emeritus of Social Science at the University of Amsterdam: On genocidal regimes and perpetrators
  • Visit Anne Frank House (museum)
  • Meeting the director of the Anne Frank House and evaluate the visit
  • Fanny Heymann, child survivor WWII & Carolien Zimmerman, theatre maker: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." (Rumi)

June 1

Colonial Past/Slavery, Racism

Location: Tropenmuseum, Linneausstraat 2, Amnesty/HIA office, Kiezersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room

  • Wayne Modest, professor of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies, VU University: Contested histories; the collection of the Tropenmuseum
  • Visit the museum by yourself
  • Travel to the HIA office
  • Fellow Talk Courtney
  • Fellow Talk Maria Chryssa
  • Documentary 'The colour White': Sunny Bergman
  • Q and A with Sunny Bergman, documentary maker and Elvin Rigters, comedian
  • Anousha Nzume, artist and writer: On her book 'Hello white people'

June 2

Fighting discrimination, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, Civil Rights

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room, Vereniging Ons Suriname, Zeeburgerdijk 19a

  • Sinan Cankaya, cultural anthropologist, VU University
  • Fellow Talk Damir
  • Fellow Talk Deniece
  • Esmaa Alariachi, chair Al Nisa: Initiatives against islamophobia and antisemitism
  • Maarje Elgeman, Democracy and Media Foundation
  • Dinner at Vereniging Ons Suriname
  • Tour through the Black Archives with Mitchell Esajas
  • Screening of documentary 'I am not your Negro'
  • Panel discussion with Lucas Johnson (civil rights activist, coordinator at International Fellowshiop of Reconciliation), and Adwoa Aidoo (University of Color) on the relevance of Baldwins work, the Civil Rights Movement and the #Blacklivesmatter movement in the Netherlands

June 3

Meet or catch up with your buddy today (optional)

June 4

Day off 

June 5

Refugees in Greece
Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10, Amsterdam, Otto Frank Zaal Wereldhuis, Nieuwe Herengracht 20, Amsterdam
  • Fellow Talk Sophia Blijden
  • Part of documentary 'We are Here'
  • Jelle Klaas, human rights lawyer: PILP and undocumented migrants
  • Introductions of the Human Rights Academy refugees/participants: Abdullah Ebrahim (Yemen), Keyya Baloch (Balochistan), Mohammad El Makdah (Palestine) and Emiru Peninah (Uganda)
  • Lunch in groups with a participant of the HRA
  • Fellow Talk Daniel
  • Sanne Mylonas, ex-entrepreneur in Greece: The impact of the economic crisis and austerity measures on the new generation of entrepreneurs in Greece
  • Discussing migration issues with the people of the Wereldhuis

June 6

Bosnia Herzegovina, LGBTQIA, Homonationalism
Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room
  • Fellow Talk Aletta
  • Fellow Talk Jalyn
  • Documentary: My own private war
  • Q&A with filmmaker Lidija Zelovic and Bosnian fellows
  • Fellow Talk Samir
  • Mounir Samuel, political scientist, journalist and author
  • Tugba Oztemir, human rights activist and peer educator
  • Unpacking identity, working in small groups on the theme 'identity', led by Cihan Tekeli 

June 7

Social Entrepreneurship & sustainability, Women's rights

Location: Rotterdam Better Future Factory, Maasboulevard 100, Rotterdam Voice of Afghan Women, Burgemeester Meineszstraat 4, Rotterdam Heilige Boontjes, Eendrachtsplein 3, Rotterdam

  • Visit Better Future Factory: Sustainable design and engineering studio, specialists in transforming wast streams into products
  • Jamila Talla, chair of foundation Voice of Afghan Women: Activities and mission of the foundation
  • Dialogue of self-determination in smaller groups
  • Visit Heilige Boontjes: Eendrachtsplein 3, Rotterdam Social entrepreneurship 

June 8 


Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room
  • Fellow Talk Kyra
  • Fellow Talk Nikki
  • Niels Schuddeboom, indepent agent and healthcare consultant: Bypassing the system; living a life not many expect me to
  • Open space in the program for last-minute great ideas
  • Fellow Talk Ilia
  • Fellow Talk Louis
  • Halleh Ghorashi, professor Diversity and Integration, VU University: Changed conditions of critical thinking and the power of interpersonal relations

June 9 

Peer-based and cross-medial training inequalities, group-focused hostility, privileges and discrimination
Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room
  • Workshop Narku Lorenz Laing, Senior Fellow (Berlin, 2014), member of the Board of Directors of Humanity in Action Germany and freelance trainer: Workshop 'strategies to counter everyday racism'

In a peer-based and cross-medial training the fellows learn about various forms of inequalities, group-focused hostility, privileges and discrimination. The training deepens the fellows' understanding of different phenomena of everyday discrimination and supports the group in developing common definitions of inequalities. The workshop is intended to support our understanding of our own identities and enable us to better tolerate and appreciate others. The training seeks to support fellows in reflecting on the current state of the discourse on 'diversity' and 'discrimination' in the EU framework. 

June 10

Meet or catch up with your buddy today (optional)
SFN jins Iftar with the We Are Here-group refugee collective
De Vlugtlaan 125, Amsterdam
Seeing how this year the month of the Summer Program overlaps with the month of Ramadan, the traditional SFN Barbeque will undergo a makeover. HIA SFN Barbeque becomes HIA SFN Iftar. We will join the 'We Are Here' collective and their Iftar!
We are Here collective consists of a group of refugees located in Amsterdam that does not get any housing provided by the government but also not allowed to work and therefore should live on the street. The group decided to make the inhumane situation that they have to live in visible, by no longer hiding, but showing the situation of refugees that are out of procedure in the Netherlands. 
Out of solidarity with those fasting during Ramadan and since the We Are Here collective has a special place in HIA's heart, we would like to cordially invite you to the We Are Here Iftar.
Location: the Westside Slotermeer (De Vlughtlaan 125, Amsterdam)
Time: 19:30
We will meet each other in front of the community center at 19.30. We ask you to contribute a minimum of 5 Euros (and if possible, a little more which naturally goes to the We Are Here collective).

June 11

Optional: Visit the 'Stedelijk Museum' with the Dutch SFN
SFN NL wants to keep the network active but also familiar with each other and "gezellig" so therefore we organise "in-between action" activities every so often. These activities deal with Humanity in Action topics, but on a less intense way than other activities. So sometimes we go to a movie screening or a music concert and this Sunday we want to take you to the Stedelijk Museum! We will visit the exhibition "Solution or utopia? design for refugees." The Stedelijk Museum presents almost 50 recent initiatives designed to improve the temporary situations faced by refugees. One of the designers' central challenges was to devise practical, real-life solutions. Their solutions range from clothing that can double as a tent, to improve signage in a refugee camp, and from a linkable plastic floor sections for temporary shelters to a digital service that helps refugees navigate their new environment. This will be your chance to visit one of Amsterdam's most famous museums while regaining some faith in a more inclusive, creative and welcoming society. 

June 12

Get into Action mode! Meeting the inspirators

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room

  • Fellow Talk Tamar
  • Fellow Talk Marty
  • Fellow Talk Anold
  • Write! Journalistic approach: Anouk Eigenraam, freelance journalist and Senior Fellow: On her book: Welcome to the world of adoption
  • Play! Theatrical approach: David Limaverde, art-educator, performer, art-activist: On how theatre can be used as a tool for social transformation, and examples of a few techniques
  • Show! Video/documentary approach: Kim van Haaster, filmmaker and anthropologist: On her film 'Play no matter what' and an introduction into the world of documentary film making by Kim's story. Kim will give insights in how documentary can be used to tell a story and inspire others.

    The workshop later this week will be an introduction into documentary filmmaking. We will pass through different forms of storytelling, filming techniques and technical steps. This workshop will prepare you to go out and make your own short documentary, after deciding on a story together. 

  • Act! Social campaign approach: Ilana Cukier, campaign stategist and Senior Fellow: Ilana Cukier works as a campaign strategist at campaigning agency BKB, located in Amsterdam. BKB develops campaigns for governments, private companies and public organizations via research, consultancy, online strategy, PR and events.
  • Making a plan + planning with your group for this week: The social campaign group has a session with Ilana Cukier 

June 13 

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room

In Action:

Write group can consult Anouk by phone or the Amsterdam staff team

Play group will have a workshop with David Limaverde (morning)

Show group will have a workshop with Kim van Haaster (morning)

Act group can see Ilana Cukier (09.00-11.00) if necessary


Working on your projects all morning and afternoon

June 14 

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room
  • Fellow Talk Arne
  • Fellow Talk Jamilla
  • Boris Dittrich, Advocacy Director of the LGBTQ rights program at Human Rights Watch: Fighting for LGBTQIA worldwide
  • Fellow Talk Tessa
  • Fellow Talk Sophie Laggarique
  • Check in. How are all the groups doing?

June 15 

Working on your projects all morning and afternoon

Act group can see Ilana Cukier (09.00-11.00) if necessary

Play group will have a workshop with David Limaverde (morning)

June 16

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room, Stichting (Foundation) Argan, Jan Tooropstraat 6A
Working on your projects all morning and afternoon until 15.30
  • Suzanne Bouma, senior researcher at Atria, institute on gender equality and women's history & Amin Ghazaei, teacher and journalist: Women's rights and islam
  • Berna Toprak, Women Inc. (to be confirmed) 
  • Iftar & cultural program, Theme: Islam & LGBTIQA, with Döne Fil, LGTQIA activist

June 17

Contact your buddy (optional)

Work on your projects if you need to

Evening and night (optional): Walk the Night of the Refugee with the Dutch SFN

For the past couple of years Humanity in Action participated in the Night of the Refugee. This year will be no different. The Night of the Refugee is a fundraiser where participants will walk several kilometers to raise awareness and collect money for the emergency relief of refugees and displaced persons, people who are in fight of war, violence and oppression worldwide.

This year SFN helps senior fellow Marijn in completing his Action Plan by making this year's Night of the Refugee a true Humanity in ACTION evening. And you can be part of that too! You can choose to walk either 40km, 20km or 10km and raise money and awareness along the way. Register online ( with one of the HIA teams and join us!

(Some routes are very popular so quick registration is key! We will email you more specifics but if you have any questions you can reach us at

June 18

Day off

June 19

Get into Action mode! Meeting the inspirators

Location: Amnesty/HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parks Room

  • Ola Al Khatib, Senior Fellow 2016: Dutch Senior Fellow network

After an amazing Iftar, a tough walk during the Night of the Refugee or a nice museum visit, you might have gotten to know some of the Senior Fellow Network (SFN) already. Yet this morning will feature Ola, Euneida, Femke & Merel, all members of the SFN Board who organise to keep our network active and involved. Our guests will share a bit more about what the SFN is, what our goals are, and how you can get involved too. We are looking forward to welcome you in our network! 

  • Hüseyin Sakalli, Senior Fellow 2016: Pat Cox Internship, European Parliament in Brussels
  • Zohara Mahmoud, Senior Fellow 2016: HIA Action Plan: homework classes for underprivileged youth and their parents
  • Mavis Appiagyei, Summer program Intern 2016
  • Awraham Soetendorp, rabbi and human rights activist: We will hear the life journey of a child survivor in rebuilding Jewish congregations, fostering respect education and pioneering interfaith cooperation and the activities of the institute for human values

June 20

Presentation Day

All groups will be presenting the 'product' of their hard work in the 3rd week of the program.

  • Host Family and Farewell Dinner: Cafè-Restaurant De Oceaan, R.J.H. Fortuynplein 29, Amsterdam

June 21

Day off

June 22-25

8th HIA International Conference in Berlin


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