This year's Student in the spotlight during the Opening of the Academic Year on Monday, 3 September is Levis Maina Nderitu. This Kenyan student from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is the founder of the Sullivan Reed Society, whose main activities are aimed at promoting the rights of the LGBT+ community. Every year during the Opening, a student is given the opportunity to talk about his or her special project.
Levis Maina Nderitu is the founder of the Sullivan Reed Society, whose main activities are aimed at promoting a world where the LGBT+ community is free from discrimination and persecution and also has equal opportunities in life, including access to work, study programmes and education.
In 2016, in partnership with various parties like Hivos, Sullivan Reed Society launched the Colourful Workplaces initiative, to create inclusive workplaces for the LGBT+ community in Kenya. Levis and his team do this through research, by organising round table conferences, training sessions and an annual conference. Until now Sullivan Reed has worked together with ten big multinationals, the United Nations and the Dutch embassy in Nairobi. More information is available here.
Levis Maina Nderitu has been selected for various fellowships. In October he is representing Erasmus University Rotterdam at the Clinton Global Initiative University in Chicago.
The Student in the spotlight jury, comprising Rector Magnificus Professor Rutger Engels and Jordie van der Burgt, representing the student body in the University Council, chose Levis Maina Nderitu because diversity and inclusivity are important themes for Erasmus University. He gives a voice to the LGBT+ movement. The initiative of Levis Maina Nderitu speaks ambition and public involvement. He thus reflects the vision that Erasmus University is a university at the heart of society.
About Student in the spotlight
By putting a student 'in the spotlight' during the Opening of the Academic Year, Erasmus University rewards inspiring initiatives: special things that students from Erasmus University do to achieve their ambitions and concrete activities with social value. Erasmus University is a university at the heart of society. Students are given 5 minutes on stage to present their project and inspire others.