Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Psychological Safety

Honoring Keti Koti

A Commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

The liberation is celebrated today with the Keti Koti Festival. On this date, in 1863, the Emancipation Act came into effect, abolishing slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. In Rotterdam, the monument at Lloydkade stands as a reminder, located where ships of the Rotterdam slave trading company Coopstad and Rochussen departed for Africa. This place is significant to us as it lies at the foot of SAWA, the unique wooden residential building where we will reside in 2025.

Mayor Aboutaleb also took the stage to discuss the slavery past. For him, it was the last time in his role as Rotterdam’s mayor. “The book is not closed and will probably never be closed,” he concluded. “There are wounds that never heal, and we must remain vigilant. We should not trivialize signs of racism and exclusion.” He emphasized the importance of recognizing Rotterdam’s role during the colonial era: “We no longer close our eyes to our role in the slavery past. It reflects insight from the city administration. We gain insights.”

To underscore this message, Aboutaleb spontaneously highlighted diversity within the municipality at the end of his speech. He called an official to the stage and thanked her for “bringing color,” which he said is much needed. The two embraced afterward.

Today, as we celebrate this important day, we reaffirm our commitment to championing equality, embracing diversity, and cultivating an inclusive environment where psychological safety is paramount. We believe in the power of diverse perspectives to drive social innovation and create a workplace where everyone feels safe, respected, and empowered to contribute their best.

Join us in reflecting on Keti Koti and renewing our commitment to a more equitable and inclusive future.

#Equality #Diversity #Inclusion #PsychologicalSafety