The killing of George Floyd in the US has led to a reinvigorated global movement calling for an end to racism. As a Centre we issued a statement this week, calling on all public health experts to support these efforts by ensuring our research documents the issue and its consequences, and that this research tests effective solutions and translates these solutions into practice.
The statement also called on us to challenge our own biases and critically access our own practices as a Centre. Since the beginning of this year we have been reviewing our current organisational strategy. As part of this work, we are also ensuring our efforts to support and increase diversity in our student intake, our range of lecturers and the locations of our courses.
Thanks to our scholarship scheme the diversity of our students is already high. We will continue these efforts and look for new ways to expand our scholarship programme so that more students, including students from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds can benefit from our courses.
Over the years, we have been fortunate to have a wide range of lecturers, both academic and humanitarian practitioners. Again, we will review our practices to ensure diversity is at the centre of our selection process.
For our courses, while we will continue to have our residential courses in Geneva, we will be embarking on a decentralisation programme, starting new courses in regional hubs around the world, to make our courses even more accessible to humanitarian professionals.
We will keep you updated on our strategy plans and a broad vision paper will be published soon.
We hope these efforts are welcomed, and we thank you all for your support to the Centre now and in the future.
Professor Karl Blanchet, Director, Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies