About us

Ein Mosaik aus bunten und transparenten Blasen

The ADE is a counseling office of the University of Bremen that was founded in 1993. Together with the Equal Opportunities Office, we form the Unit 04 "Antidiscrimination and Equal Opportunities".

Based on cooperation contracts, we also offer our services to the other public universities and the core administration of the public service in the State of Bremen.

We are a team of four counselors, supported by two student employees and an administrative assistant.

The following standards are central to our work: 

  • Confidentiality

  • Role clarity

  • Sensitivity to discrimination

  • Resource orientation

  • Quality assurance


We are also participate in various networks on university, regional and national level.  

You can find more information here.

Ursel Gerdes

Studied to be a teacher, three-year extra-occupational training in social therapy counseling, three-year extra-occupational training in supervision and organizational consulting, many years of experience in vocational training and continuing education. more ->

Carmen Alicia Laínez Jaén

Psychologist (M.A. Psychology, B.A. Communication and Marketing). Advanced training as an anti-discrimination consultant (advd). more ->

Almut Dietrich

Studied special needs education (UoAS Potsdam), three-year extra-occupational training as Systemic Therapist (DGSF).
Continuing education in focusing, working with groups, and adult education. more ->

Kim Annakathrin Ronacher

Cultural scientist (M.A. Transcultural Studies, B.A. Cultural Studies and Gender Studies), systemic coach (UoAS Potsdam) as well as supervisor and organizational consultant (DGSv) in training, further training in diversity management. more ->

Sewita Mebrahtu

Lawyer (LL.M. European and International Law, LL.B. Social Law).
In-service training as a counsellor with a focus on anti-discrimination.
more -> 


Our work is based on a relationship of trust with our clients, respecting each other's interests and boundaries. We work confidentially and for this also have been granted a right of confidentiality by the university management.

Role clarity

Clarity in our roles is a central prerequisite for our work. In counseling and in workshops we are committed to the defined goals and expectations that we have beforehand developed with our clients. Therefore, a binding clarification of goals and steps at the beginning and a clear framework for cooperation build a crucial basis of our work.

Awareness of Discrimination

Awareness of Discrimination means being attentive to the effects of discrimination and privilege and including them in the analysis of situations. For us, this also includes reflecting on power relations and discrimination risks in the counseling setting.

Resource orientation

We clarify individual and organizational resources and consider them in our offers. We work in a solution- and result-oriented way.

Quality assurance

In order to ensure and advance the quality of our work, we use professional procedures of quality assurance: collegial case discussion, team and individual supervision, workshops and trainings as well as literature.

The basis of our work and part of our quality standards is also that there are always at least two people working in the ADE team. In the area of conflict and anti-discrimination counseling, for quality reasons, one person should not work in a counseling center, because this would eliminate important opportunities for reflection.

Our work and services aim at promoting the qualified handling of discrimination, conflicts and violence in educational and work contexts.

Our work thus aims to promote an organizational culture, that is characterized by mutual respect and recognition, in which conflicts are taken seriously and dealt with responsibly, and discrimination and violence are prevented in a consistent manner and sanctioned accordingly.

One of these goals is to (further) develop diversity competence, awareness of discrimination and role clarity as important foundations for individuals, teams and organizations.

We meet these goals with a constant reflection of our work and the effort and interest to develop further our work, our expertise as well as our range of methods and services.

In our work, we experience that the way companies and organizations deal with discrimination or conflicts often moves between the poles of "fearful and defensive" on the one hand and "voyeuristic and lurid" on the other. Accordingly, the response to proposals for change and the need for action is either sluggish or actionist. This is a tension in which organizations and companies move in positioning and shaping their anti-discrimination policy and their conflict management.

In this respect, anti-discrimination measures and conflict management remain a challenge in which we are happy to support you with our various offers.


The ADE at the University of Bremen was founded in 1993. Our services regarding discrimination, conflict, and violence in the study and workplace since then continuously were extended and further developed.

In the early 1990s, female students and employees from various academic, technical and administrative areas of the university addressed the public. They called on the university administration to take action against repeated gender-based sexual discrimination at the university. As a result, in 1992, the University's Academic Senate adopted the "Policy Prohibiting Sexual Discrimination." Then, in 1993, the “Office against Sexual Discrimination and Violence in the Educational and Employment Workplace”, or ADE for short, was established with two positions for counsellors. 

At the end of the 1990s, the ADE's services were expanded to include all forms of discrimination and the field of conflict management. This created the basis for providing counseling on all forms of discrimination as well as on their interconnections and for taking into account the interconnectedness of discrimination and conflicts. The development, establishment and conceptual advancement of ADE were led by Sabine Klein-Schonnefeld and Ursel Gerdes.

After Sabine Klein-Schonnefeld retired, the second ADE position was cut. However, through a cooperation contract with the public service (2014), a second position could be created again. Since then, the ADE has also been available for the core administration of the public service in the state of Bremen.

In 2020 a cooperation contract with the universities in the state of Bremen expanded the ADE's area of responsibility and a third position is created.

The ADE is thus currently equipped with three full-time equivalent staff positions; one for the University of Bremen, one for the public service, and one for all public universities in the state of Bremen). They are shared by the ADE's four counsellors.

(as of summer 2022).

Updated by: ADE