The ADE at the University of Bremen has existed for almost 25 years.

Over this time, our offer to deal with conflicts, discrimination and violence at the training and workplace has been constantly expanded and optimized.

The beginning

At the beginning of the 90s, female students and women from different scientific, technical and administrative departments of the University went public with their concerns. They called on the administration to act against recurring gender-based, sexualized discrimination at the University.

As a result, in 1992 the University's Academic Senate passed the “Directive prohibiting sexual discrimination”. In 1993, the Anti-Discrimination and Conflict Management Office was set up, ADE for short. The centre was initially equipped with one full-time and one three-year limited contract position. From the beginning, the aim was to create a framework that meets the requirements of the field of work and also ensures a collegial and professional exchange in the sense of quality assurance.

Construction and concept

The development, establishment and conceptual development of the ADE were led by Sabine Klein-Schonnefeld, a lawyer and social scientist, together with Ursel Gerdes.

At the end of the 1990s, ADE's conceptual offer was extended to cover all grounds of discrimination and the field of conflict management. With this horizontal approach, the danger of a hierarchical assessment of different forms of discrimination has been effectively counteracted to this day. It also takes into account the different aspects of heterogeneous diversity and the occurrence of multiple discrimination.

The conceptual extension to encompass requirements of operational conflict management had, on the one hand, the goal to create a lower threshold for ADE offers. On the other hand, it highlighted the relationship and points of contact concerning dealing with conflicts and discrimination in educational and work contexts and underscored the importance of ant-discrimination work.


Saving the ADE 2013 -2014

In May 2013, Sabine Klein-Schonnefeld went into well-deserved retirement. Until then, it was unclear whether, in face of austerity measures at the University, it would be possible for the ADE to carry on its work and retain two full-time positions. Initiatives within the University, anti-discrimination networks, Bremen politicians, authorities in the Bremen and Bremerhaven public services, workplace representatives and stakeholders in equal opportunities for women emphasized the importance of ADE work during this period and strengthened the University's ability to retain this service.

This was followed by concrete negotiations between the University and the Senator for Finance of the State of Bremen in June 2013. The result was a cooperation agreement, with which the public service of the State of Bremen will in future be involved in the financing of a position for ADE. The second position was filled in May 2014 by Almut Dietrich, a consultant and trainer in ADE's conflict management and anti-discrimination field.

In August 2016, an expansion of the team around Kathrin Schack took place. Since then, ADE's two full-time jobs have been distributed among Ursel Gerdes, Almut Dietrich and Kathrin Schack.

Our thanks!

Unfortunately, we cannot name all the people who in recent years have supported and helped shape the work of the ADE through different job specifications and fixed-term contracts.

For the development of such an established and recognized service offer and the expertise developed in it necessitates many interested parties, supporters, employees and users. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all!

Updated by: ade