Speaking with one Voice on Purple Friday

15 December 2022

The concept of “Purple Friday” was inspired by Spirit Day in the United States, which was first held in 2010 as an expression against bullying of LGBTIQ+ youth. It is a day that calls for solidarity, focusing primarily on the LGBTIQ+ community youth and, in particular, educational institutions. Purple Friday is widely celebrated in schools in the Netherlands but is becoming increasingly seen in higher education institutions and even in the corporate world. 

To focus more on what the day means for employers as well as students, Workplace  Pride and Student Pride Netherlands organised a hybrid lunch session at the Foundation’s offices that brought together various stakeholders dealing with this topic. Academia@WorkplacePride, one of five ‘communities’ within the Foundation, was in the lead with this informative panel discussion that included representatives from student associations, universities, and the corporate world. Co-Moderated by Workplace Pride Co-Chair, Michiel Kolman, and Chantal van der Putten, Chair of Student Pride Netherlands, the session answered both the “Why” of Purple Friday as well as some practical steps that can be done to increase acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people in schools and universities. The general consensus was that teaming up and combining efforts will have the greatest impact going forward. 

The enthusiastic discussions also explored practical topics such as gender-neutral toilets in educational institutions and how gender registration can have a direct impact on students and their well-being. Finally, all of the event was captured in a lively ‘cartoon graphic’ that highlights the main takeaways (see below).

Thanks go to all speakers for their insight as well as to the in-house and online participants who helped bring a bit more clarity and inspiration to Purple Friday! 

Click here to see the video of the event

Click below to download the illustration: