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What is WeDecolonizeVUB?

WeDecolonizeVUB is a student project by the University Center of Development Cooperation (UCOS) and takes place at the Free University Brussels (VUB). The project consists of different branches, namely the creation of a safe(r) space, a library, social events, and an online platform. All are carried by a diverse group of students and representatives of student organizations, the beating heart of this project.

Since the university, as a space and an institution, is based on white, male, heteronormative foundations and a continutation of coloniality, it is essential to deconstruct the so-called universal character of Eurocentric knowledge and recenter different knowledges, knowledge productions, and pedagogies to tackle the knowledge imbalance the university sustains. The proposal for the library was built upon this idea - the deconstruction of a Western-dominated worldview. The library provides both fiction and non-fiction books of racialized authors from across all continents. Besides this, we also contribute to the deconstruction of the dominant Western worldview by organizing events, in order to provide students with knowledge and theories that are marginalized by the university.

The Eurocentric and perceived neutral character the university benefits from, is not only an epistemological issue, it also generates oppressing structures that create spaces on campus of suppression and violence experienced by racialized students. WeDecolonizeVUB therefore also envisages creating safe(r) spaces for racialized students where they can express their aspirations, frustrations, struggles, joy, etc.

Are you passionated and motivated to reinforce the board? Fill in the questions below, but do not worry, there are no right or wrong answers, it is just to get to know you better!

Application open until September 30.

What are we looking for?

2021-2022 will be the first year the project can be fully operational, as the project started in October of last year in a full pandemic. The working group that organized the events and occupied the social media will evolve to a more formalized board that will decide upon the focus, strategy, and course of WeDecolonizeVUB 2021-2022. We are therefore looking for passionate and motivated students to reinforce the board. As this is the first year the board will be operational, we do not have specific vacancies that need to be filled. Your skills and personality will determine the organization and functioning of the board. If you are interested in subjects like decolonization, anti-racism, intersectionality and social justice and have a critical mindset, then you might be the perfect board member.

Since we attach much importance to community building and the creation of safe(r) spaces, we are organizing an introductory weekend for the board from Friday 8 October until Sunday 10 October. The introductory weekend will serve to team building, obtaining deeper knowledge on the subject of decolonization and future building of WeDecolonizeVUB, all of this under professional guidance.

After the weekend, we plan to hold a bi-monthly board meeting, depending on the planned events and activities we decide to undertake during the weekend.

Would you like to get involved in 'WeDecolonizeVUB'? Fill in the form here below!

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