PurpleLightUp campaign on the Telegrafenberg

Raising the flag for the #PurpleLightUp on the Telegrafenberg: Wolfram Rosenbach (AIP), Karen Vogt (AWI), Niels Hovius & Stefan Schwartze (GFZ) (Photo: Johannes Räbel for GFZ)
Raising the flag on the Telegrafenberg on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the pics: Wolfram Rosenbach (AIP), Karen Vogt (AWI), Niels Hovius & Stefan Schwartze (GFZ); not shown: representetive of PIK. (Photo: Johannes Räbel for GFZ)

"Employees with disabilities make an important contribution to the success of the GFZ. They can only do so if we create a barrier-free working environment in which all feel respected and included," says our Scientific Director Niels Hovius on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Today’s global #PurpleLightUp campaign draws attention to this. To mark the occasion, the research institutions on Potsdam's Telegrafenberg have hoisted a purple flag at the entrance to the Science Park. For reasons of sustainability and to avoid light pollution, it replaces the officially proposed lighting of the public space.

Alongside the two GFZ Executive Board members Niels Hovius und Stefan Schwartze (r), Wolfram Rosenbach from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) (l) and Karen Vogt from the Potsdam branch of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) were also present. Not in the picture: the representative of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Inclusion at the GFZ

As a further step on the path to more inclusion, the GFZ signed the "Diversity Charter" in summer 2021. This is a commitment to diversity at our centre and at the same time an obligation to promote it. The Diversity Charter is an initiative of the German government and of now more than 4,500 employers.

The GFZ is the employer of severely disabled employees and those with equal rights. A disability or chronic illness - such as visual and/or hearing impairments, mobility limitations, dyslexia, mental illness, epilepsy, diabetes and much more - is not always indicated and is not always visible.

"With very individual measures, we ensure that difficulties in everyday working life associated with a disability or restriction are reduced to an absolute minimum. This includes constructional measures as well as customised adaptations at the workplace and in the organisation of work," says Sabine Thiel, the representative of persons with severe disabilities at the GFZ.

After all, everyday objects, services, media, online services such as websites, newsletters and social media posts, leisure activities and much more must also be designed in such a way that they are accessible to all without help from outside.

The human resources department and the representative body for severely disabled persons are currently working on a concept to promote jobs for severely disabled persons as well as the attractiveness of the GFZ as an employer for severely disabled persons. In addition, it is important to inform and support the non-disabled colleagues on and in this topic.

The focus here is on specifically addressing severely disabled people and people with equal status in advertised positions at the GFZ - from trainees to scientists -, improving the information and training opportunities for all employees and making the topic more visible both internally and externally.

Background to the #PurpleLightUp campaign

Launched in 2017 by PurpleSpace founder Kate Nash, the global campaign makes a visible statement around the world on 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Symbolically, the colour purple is used in different actions. #PurpleLightUp draws attention to the economic empowerment, economic participation and contribution of people with disabilities.


Contact person:

Sabine Thiel
General and Technical Services
Representative of persons with severe disabilities 
Phone: +49 331 288-1648
Email: sbv@gfz-potsdam.de

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