Allyens Yearbook 2020

Page 1




we are building an inclusive society.



ION -20





Stijn Carlien Jantien Nina Mishani




Oxfam Novib WTFock Inclusive Employer 101 bpost Niet Normaal?! The Future is a #headofu








9-10 10-11 12 13

16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-25

Yearbook 2020

Pfew, can you believe another year has come and gone by? And what a year it was. Okay, fair enough, at Allyens we actually always have crazy years, but 2020 sure was the craziest one so far!


If we remember correctly, these are some of the things that happened: • • • • • • •

Our team grew to 10 people (welcome Carlien, Jantien, Nina, Mishani, and Stijn!) We translated our website (we’re now available in Dutch and in English!) We published our first e-book (a beginner’s guide to inclusive marketing!) We welcomed a lot of new clients and did some amazing campaigns We got nominated for the Effie Awards 2020 We went international (hello, Dutch market!) Oh, and we turned 5 years old (we’ll throw a party post-corona)

You’d almost forget about the coronavirus, right? Unfortunately, that very much had an impact on our work. We had to learn how to deal with being locked down (twice), figure out how to have efficient virtual meetings, and keep the team spirit alive and kicking. That’s why we introduced care packages and feeling meetings. Yep, we’re just human after all, which means we sometimes needed to share some emotions. The coronavirus affected us in other ways as well, and because of that, 2020 turned out to be our year of personal growth and reflection. Corona wasn’t the only thing that happened, of course. With the death of George Floyd, we saw a surge in Black Lives Matter-activism, both in the United States and here in Belgium. We saw political shifts. We saw an increase in online activism. We saw people waking up and opening their eyes - although sometimes short lived. Heck, we ourselves realized there is so much more work to do. That’s why we keep on working towards our Big Goal: “How can we build an inclusive world?” Or, to go with Covid-imagery: “How can we develop a vaccine against exclusion?”. We’re not Bill Gates or Dolly Parton, but we sure hope we’re also making a difference here. In order to have a cure against exclusion as soon as possible, we decided to share our research in this yearbook. We can’t just let a world crisis stop us, you know. So, in this yearbook, you’ll find a highly classified peek-behind-the-scenes, some of the results of our research, and… an exclusive sneak preview of our future plans! With virtual love, Allyens


Yearbook 2020




ION -20

In order to develop a vaccine against exclusion, we needed more people power. And not just any people. We already had an A-team full of amazing experts, so newbies had to bring more than enthusiasm or a friendly smile (even though we appreciate those traits, for sure!).


Yearbook 2020

The One That Makes Everything Better AKA Operations Manager StijN!, Operations Manager at Allyens: sounds fancy. What does your function entail?

What do you do when you’re not busy with Allyens-related-stuff?

In (very) short, it entails making sure that Allyens operates in such a way that we can reach all of our short and long-term goals in a pleasant, efficient, and durable way. To do this you need to be fully aware of Allyens’ mission, values, and goals, because these have an immense impact on how we operate on a daily basis. If it’s Allyens’ mission to build a more inclusive society, we need to operate in an inclusive way. On a more practical level, it includes finances, staffing, policies, workflows, and goal-setting.

Potty training a stubborn 2-year-old and if there is any time left: jogging, trying to learn the rules to padel, doing DIY-challenges, and buying stocks the moment before they crash.

What does Allyens have that other companies don’t? A very clear and well-defined WHY: We want to build a more inclusive society. A very clear and well-defined HOW: By helping organizations getting in touch with today’s super-diverse society. A very clear and well defined WHAT: With awesome marketing and communication campaigns. …and of course a super talented team and truly inspiring founder.


Do you have any guilty pleasures your colleagues don’t know about yet? Hahaha, nice try, not gonna reveal those yet... What do you want to accomplish in 2021? On a professional level: Seeing a happy and healthy team lifting a lion in Cannes (the award, not the animal). On a personal level: Buying a new house and selling all leftover diapers. What is something that helps you when you’re in need of some motivation? “My beautiful dark twisted fantasy” by Kanye West is a true motivational bomb of an album, 35 minutes of some of the best music produced.

The One That Writes All The Time AKA Copywriter Carlien! You’re a copywriter at Allyens: what is your background? How did you end up at Allyens? Now, here’s a question that’s gonna need a long answer. Sit back, relax, and let’s travel back to 2009. I was 17 and I loved nothing better than writing. I think my highlight back in the day was being published in the school newspaper with a story about heartbreak and flamingoes. A year later, I started studying Linguistics and Literature (Dutch - English), did the Master in Comparative Modern Literature, and because I wasn’t quite ready to start working yet, added a Masters in Cultural Management. Afterward, I started working for a youth organization called ‘youth and poetry’, where I organized projects for young writers and did the communications. A job where writing appealing texts was quite crucial. And then the road got bumpy, I worked on a few temporary literary projects, did 6 months of copywriting at a “regular” agency, got headhunted by a feminist organization, and very dramatically quit my job over there on Valentine’s Day 2020. I’m like a sponge. I want to know everything about everything, so I also wanted to focus on other issues. And then I heard about Allyens. It sounded cool: an environment where you could work on multiple issues and have a clear impact. So, I did what every millennial would do: I checked their Facebook page. And guess what? They

needed a copywriter. I applied and got hired (I am skipping all of the rejections I had at other job interviews, but kinda want to mention that because it’s not like it was that easy). And at the same time, it was. Right now, it’s weird to imagine I ever worked somewhere else. That’s cheesy, right? What is your best-accomplished experiment at Allyens yet? That’s a hard one. I’ve already worked on many different projects, I also have a difficult time being proud of things I do (because… you can always do better, right?), and I’m even worse at making decisions. To choose is to lose! But I guess… Being the first in-house copywriter at Allyens and the fact that I’m working towards becoming an Inclusive Copywriter every day. What does inclusion mean to you as a person and how do you incorporate this in your work as a copywriter? To me, it means “supporting everyone to be a part of something”. That’s vague, but inclusion changes, depending on the circumstances. Or: certain groups need more support than others, and this changes over time. Inclusion is never finished, it’s always a process, a ‘give-it9

Yearbook 2020

your-best-shot’, and that’s okay because you have to keep on learning to truly be inclusive, and to be able to keep on being inclusive, even when said circumstances change. As a copywriter, my job is to find the right words for a certain clients’ needs and goals. As an inclusive copywriter, I have to reconcile those with the needs of everyone else. Or at least, as many people as possible.

What is your favorite quote or life motto? I don’t really have all-time-favorite things, so by the time the yearbook’s in print I’ve probably changed my mind or discovered a new quote. Right now I’m thinking: ‘Don’t be a jerk’. Sounds like solid advice, no?

The One We Knew Before AKA Inclusion Strategist Jantien! After you finished your internship here, you joined the A-team as an inclusion advisor. What made you stay? After a few weeks as an intern, I felt really connected to the Allyens and their goals and views. The team made me feel so included and appreciated, something I didn’t expect to find at a first job. I also know that the field of communications has a lot of work to do when it comes to inclusion in the workplace as well as in the work itself. I wanted to learn more about the world of communications, but I also knew that I would have to face a lot of discrimination and disappointment if I joined an agency that does not value inclusion as much. I just got hooked to Allyens immediately and knew that I’d get a lot of opportunities and meet so many inspiring people here!


How do you contribute to building an inclusive society outside of Allyens? Deciding to get a master’s degree in Gender and Diversity was my first step towards actually contributing to a more inclusive society: it gave me the insights and historical backgrounds I needed in order to have meaningful conversations with people around me. I have those conversations with my friends and family about my work, but also about contemporary issues or events: Zwarte Piet, BLM, police violence, fatphobia, and LGBTQ-issues are some of the topics we talk about the most. I think that’s the first step towards an inclusive society: people need to understand things in order for them to be able to do better in the future.

Where can we find you when you’re looking for inspiration or some headspace? During corona, there aren’t that many options or places to go to... I usually go for a walk with my dog, Rocco. Going for walks together with my dog, partner, friend, ... makes me feel connected to them, and I get my inspiration or headspace from feeling connected to others and my surroundings. That connection is what drives or motivates me to build a more inclusive society. But I’m not always in the mood for walks and talks, so you can also find me on my couch, listening to the playlist of ‘The End of the Fucking World’, which transports me into another dimension. What do you want to accomplish in 2021? I want to learn more about the world of communication and advertising. I’m a newbie and fresh out of university, so I have a lot to learn! Luckily, I believe you never stop learning. I also hope to be part of some amazing campaigns, which - by the looks of it - will actually become true! What is your favorite (vegan) cheesy quote? Not really cheesy, but I live by the words of Audre Lorde: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”. It basically means that whatever you’re looking at, you’re actually looking at a hundred other things as well: everything is intertwined and connected to each other. This helps me to put things into perspective and look beyond what I think I’m seeing. 11

Yearbook 2020

The One Who Keeps Everything Organized aka Project Manager Nina! After you graduated in Gender and Diversity, you started looking for a job. What drew you towards the vacancy of project manager at Allyens? Well, I knew a fellow student of my year already did her internship at Allyens and loved the people and the atmosphere, so I knew I was in for a treat. I had already been searching far and wide for a job that combined my two passions: communications and inclusion. I quickly realized that unfortunately the market wasn’t quite as ready for change as I was, so the vacancy at Allyens was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. What do you want to accomplish in 2021? I guess the bar for 2021 is pretty low after 2020… Yet I am very excited to explore the Allyen in me. Everyone is so good at what they do, it really motivates me to learn every day! In 2021 I want to explore all the different opportunities that come along with working at Allyens (learning new ways to be more inclusive every day, sharing my passion with new people,…). Privately, 2021 will be the year I finally get to stop quoting Hobo Johnson’s I Want a Dog. Because “I really want a dog” and this year we are ready to adopt one! Office dog here we come! PS: I haven’t checked in with the boss about this, but at least I will have an office dog when I’m working from home 12

What does inclusion mean to you? To me, inclusion is the art of having empathy for what you don’t know and being willing to change the way you think to better understand others. This is a skill that is difficult to master, it takes dedication to be willing to change your worldviews or adjust your ideas about certain concepts (gender, ability, religion, etc). But in a society where we are confronted with so many different identity markers every day, inclusion has to be engrained in every aspect of life, also in the workplace and in marketing campaigns. For me, it’s the only way forward, companies stuck in rigid non-inclusive ways of thinking are just not prepared for tomorrow and the opportunities that come with the diverse society we live in. Who do you look up to? In 2020 I just really look up to all of my colleagues, making working from home in a difficult situation work. I personally miss working with colleagues, and I’m sure they do too, but they are always here for me when I need them and I know I can always give them a ring. It’s so nice to see how determined they all are to do the best they can for our clients and to keep working on a more inclusive world. It’s so inspiring, it makes me want to do my best every day and it makes working alone a whole lot more fun!

The One Who Gets The Content Going Aka Mishani! After you finished your internship here, you joined the A-team to work magic on our marketing. What is it that you’re going to do? When I applied for an internship at Allyens I was already in love with its vision to build an inclusive society. I’m a strong believer that this is a message worth spreading and that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I’d love to see more and more organizations join us in this journey towards inclusion. Being the marketing responsible at Allyens I intend to find innovative ways to make our vision mainstream. Also to design and implement out-of-the-box marketing campaigns to build valuable and muchneeded conversations around the topic of inclusion and diversity. What does inclusion mean to you? To me, inclusion is breaking stereotypes and recognizing a person for who he/ she/they actually is. A person fears the unknown and in dealing with the unknown, stereotyping is more convenient than understanding other people. Discriminatory or non-inclusive behavior is just a convenience factor. In my opinion, if a person/ an organization/ a community does not make an effort in understanding the so-called “outsiders” (Here I mean anyone who does not fit into your belief or value system) they hinder a valuable opportunity for growth, to adopt a broader view of the world. The world

today is more diverse than ever and at some point, we all have to acknowledge that. It is indeed hard to get rid of the colored glasses through which you’ve been seeing the world since childhood. But trust me, once you get rid of these glasses you feel liberated. I myself am still working on breaking stereotypes and adopting an inclusive way of thinking... but being aware of your biases is already a step forward. Isn’t it? What do you want to accomplish in 2021? 2021 is going to be a special year for me, both professionally and personally. I’m quite confident that it will be a year that tests my limits as a marketing professional as we have already lined up some badass marketing campaigns for Allyens. Hence, I want to grab every possible opportunity to learn about the industry and ever-evolving digital marketing domain to face the challenges that come my way like a pro! Who is Mishani outside of Allyens? I’m just an ordinary person who prioritizes friends and family over everything else. I love spending time with the people I love and of course, the A-team makes it to the list too! I enjoy cooking as it’s therapeutic to me. I like to call myself a baker too, yet my inner self just doesn’t approve of it.


Yearbook 2020

OXFAM NOVIB: The inclusion check that changed everything! Client: Oxfam Novib Expert: Mayada Srouji

This was one of my favorite projects because it was challenging, because Oxfam Novib was really open for feedback and improving the way they work, because I could work in-depth, because I could get to the bottom of the problem, and provide a solution.” — Mayada


Context: Oxfam Novib is part of Oxfam International. They are a Dutch department (yes, this is one of our international clients!) founded in 1956. Just like the other Oxfam organizations, Oxfam Novib is determined to eliminate poverty and inequality all over the world. That’s why they set up projects in almost 30 countries. In order to finance those projects, they rely on donations. So naturally, a big part of what they do is explaining the need for their projects in order to get as many Dutch donors as possible. However, as an organization that is very aware of inequality, Oxfam Novib realized they had to change the way they communicated. On the one hand, they noticed general changes in communication, for example, the increasing need for gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language. On the other hand, they struggled with the fact they were describing issues in other countries from a privileged perspective.


Discussion & Results

Okay, so basically we did what we like to call an ‘inclusion check’. That’s exactly what it sounds like, and it went something like this: We combined our in-house-expertise with desk research in order to pinpoint blind spots, both at Oxfam Novib and in our own expertise. For example, we checked out how similar organizations deal with these kinds of challenges (there’s a delicate balance between inclusion and receiving donations). Next, we analyzed an incredibly diverse amount of Oxfam Novib’s texts, from internal policies to social media posts, job ads, reports, magazines, and letters to (potential) donors. Of course, we translated our findings into a neat report. And we translated that report into workshops to both increase awareness within the entire organization, and to persuade the top management to invest in internal inclusion. Talking about a full package deal, right?

The key concept within this case was intersectionality. Inclusion has different layers that also interact. So, in order to deal with these layers (such as gender, ethnicity, social class), you need to develop an intersectional view. This way you make sure your communications take into account different insights. Needless to say, this case was also very insightful for us. Less needless to say: Oxfam Novib was thrilled with the results.


Yearbook 2020

wtFOCK?: We helped remake the best online youth series ever! Client: Sputnik Media & Telenet Expert: Mayada Srouji

I would have loved to see this series as a teenager, especially because there is Yasmina, a credible, consequent, and feminist character with a Muslim background. She would have made me feel less like a misfit. I hope she is the precursor for more characters like this in the future!” — Mayada


Context: Norway, 2015. ‘Skam’ got launched, an online series that follows the daily life of teenagers. The series covered a lot of topics - friendship, school, love, mental health, and identity - and did so in a very innovative storytelling format: they uploaded real-time videos on the broadcaster’s website, and all uploads got combined for those who still craved a weekly episode. Skam broke all viewership records and became hugely popular in other countries. So when Telenet and Sputnik Media wanted to make wtFOCK, the Flemish remake of this incredibly successful youth series, as incredibly successful as the original, they called us.

Method: The recipe for Skam’s success? It’s a very authentic depiction of the lives of Generation Z-ers. So, all (ahem) we had to do was make sure the same thing happened in wtFOCK. It took us about 6 months of research, and 50 in-depth interviews with 15- to 17-year olds. We made sure to cover all of the topics that are addressed in the series (friendship, family, communication, language, style, school, music, media, love, sex, relationships, spare time, going out, food, money, religion), and that we interviewed a good mixture of respondents, obviously including minorities. For example, for the character Yasmina, we organized focus groups with Antwerp Muslim girls.

Discussion: After processing all of the data we gathered, we had a trustworthy insight into Generation Z culture and the lives of specific minorities. This helped Sputnik Media to stay away from stereotypical representation and exaggerated situations, and instead create relatable, authentic characters and situations. We could give you about 34 examples, but we don’t want to give any spoilers, so you’ll have to watch it yourself. There are currently 4 seasons, all of which center around a main character and a theme. You won’t regret it, there’s a reason the series attracts 400.000 viewers per week on average (Yes, we did watch it ourselves)!


Yearbook 2020

InCluSivE employer 101: Changing the recruiting process at J&J. Client: J&J Expert: Zineb Berrag

Simply claiming you’re an inclusive employer isn’t enough. To really be inclusive and come across as such, you have to make a clear commitment. Re-evaluating the way you attract and hire talent, and making sure everyone has a fair and equal opportunity is what really makes the difference.” — Zineb


Context: “How do we get more diversity on the work floor?” Excellent question! As it happens, it’s exactly the question J&J wanted us to answer. Not an easy one, but we didn’t have to start from scratch. The company already has a diversity and inclusion team and support from the management, so they didn’t have to start from scratch either. And you know what they say, a good start is half the job. In this case, the job sure was worth it. Method: The first thing we did was figure out why there was a lack of diversity. Turns out there are two parts to the solution. First of all, people have no clue that J&J actually is an inclusive employer. So, we figured we could work on J&J’s market positioning. Second of all, the company indicated they have trouble reaching a more diverse talent pool. Therefore, they wanted advice on how to adjust the communication of their recruitment. For the first challenge, J&J needed to change the way they communicate and are perceived. We quickly concluded they could do so exactly by working on the second challenge, so we decided to focus on how they could reach a more diverse talent pool. Talking about a ‘two birds with one stone’-approach! However, simply reaching more diverse people isn’t enough. We needed to make sure the entire recruitment process was inclusive. That’s why we made a toolkit, checklist, template, and created workshops to help everyone in creating inclusive vacancies. And when we say ‘everyone’, we do mean

everyone: the goal was to lower the threshold for employees to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. And we were not quite finished! We also screened J&J’s external communication, to ensure they would come across as a truly inclusive employer on all levels. Discussion: Because vacancies are the first active touchpoint for (potential) employees, they’re an incredibly important part of the recruiting process. So, you really want them to motivate and encourage people to apply, not to scare them away. That’s where we came in with our personalized toolkit. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the results of our approach, but we’re pretty sure they’re gonna be great. Turns out this is still a work in progress, which will be continued in 2021... Talking about doing our job thoroughly!


Yearbook 2020

bpost: Sending the full package deal for diversity within bpost. Client: Bpost Expert: Zineb Berrag

It takes real change to evolve towards an inclusive organization free of bias and discrimination and founded on fairness and equality of opportunity, but accountability amongst managers and inclusive leadership sure is the right way to start.” — Zineb


Context: Ahhhh, bpost. We go way back. We first got in touch when they were looking for a creative partner that could help them spread the message internally that they are proud of the diversity within their company. Back then, we did an internal campaign ‘Samen Vooruit/Avancer Ensemble’, created a leaflet on diversity management for managers, and provided answers and solutions to frequently asked questions and situations. The vision of bpost is clear: they don’t just want to talk about diversity, they want to actively work towards it. No wonder we like them so much. Method: So, how to inform, raise awareness, and drive action? Or more concretely, how to create an inclusive work culture and environment where every employee feels like they belong? Well, once bpost made their commitment for diversity clear within the entire company, we looked for people who could contribute to and support this commitment. We ended up with the management and created an e-learning series on inclusive leadership for them. By informing managers about their own (unconscious) blind spots and supporting them in working with a diverse team, they can set an example for other employees. Next, we’ll create a series on ‘diversity within teams’, in which managers will learn how to benefit from diversity within their team and how to overcome challenges that might arise. The end goal is to be an inclusive company and employer, and communicate this externally in bpost’s market positioning.

Discussion: This project is still ongoing, but when we see how much time and effort bpost invests, we’re sure it’s gonna be a success. They really want to create a long-term structural change within, and to do so they take it step by step. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Inclusion is something you need to actively work on.


Yearbook 2020

Niet normaal?!: a campaign against ethnic profiling. Client: Amnesty International Expert: Taha Riani

Context: Ethnic Profiling is a serious, controversial, and persistent problem. It means police target people because of their ethnicity, race, religion, or nation origin, instead of what they have done. To raise awareness, Amnesty International joined forces with 6 other organisations (JES Brussel, Liga voor Mensenrechten, Minderhedenforum, Uit De Marge, Ligue des Droits Humains, MRAX and activist Yassine Boubout) under the name of ‘Stop Ethnic Profiling’ for a (digital) campaign. Of course, we pinched in too. Method: Stop Ethnic Profiling’s campaign had to do three things: raise awareness, support victims of ethnic profiling, and make sure politicians and police would take the appropriate steps to do something about the problem. So, the first step was making clear ethnic profiling is, in fact, a problem. Not just towards police, but also towards victims, who experience it so often they start normalizing is. It’s not. And just like that, we got our baseline: Not normal?! (niet normaal/pas normal?!), and got to work to create the concept and branding.


Discussion: Our deliverables? A social media campaign with weekly testimonies from people who experienced ethnic profiling and the call for more testimonies. That turned out to be a “one stone, multiple birds”-solution. By sharing testimonies, we increased the engagement of the audience, helped victims realise that what happened to them isn’t normal (and informed them of their rights), and gathered more and more testimonies (which showed clearly how wide-spread this problem was). In the end: we got ourselves a viral campaign. And the organizations in Stop Ethnic Profiling? They engaged in dialogues with police and the Brussels Parliament.


Yearbook 2020

The future is a #HeadofU: How to increase diversity in Unilever’s Future Leaders Programme. Client: Amnesty International Expert: Aze Van Coillie

It takes real change to evolve towards an inclusive organization free of bias and discrimination and founded on fairness and equality of opportunity, but accountability amongst managers and inclusive leadership sure is the right way to start.” — Aze

Context: Big companies have big plans for the future. Unilever isn’t any different. That’s why they invest in the next generation of employees with their Future Leaders Programme (UFLP): a 3-year traineeship which allows participants to get to a managerial position within sales, marketing, supply chain, or another domain. The requirements? Some ambition and a masters’ Degree. Not unsurprisingly, this is a very successful programme. However, Unilever noticed the lack of ethnical diversity within the participants. And, even though their offices are in the Netherlands, they ended up calling us to do the job. Method: First things first, we went to figure out why this happened. We collaborated with a Dutch researcher (kind of practical, since we couldn’t be there all the time) to organize focus groups with young people from a ethnically diverse background and with people with a similar background who already work at Unilever. Turns out, the first group barely knows Unilever and the second group is a real minority within the company. Both because of Unilever’s whiteness. While we suggested Unilever to address its internal lack of diversity, we developed a strategy to attract young people from the target audience. We came up with a subtle approach: instead of explicitly targeting culturally diverse candidates, we had the inclusive insight that Unilever is all about values and purpose. We mean, there’s a reason their slogan is ‘a


better business, a better world, a better you’. And this resonates with all young people of the current generations, who don’t just want a job, but who want to make a difference. Finally, we had to make sure this insight reached our target audience. And we did so with a little help from 3 influencers, two of which are true role models for young people from an ethnically diverse background. They all got matched with a Unilever Brand that matched their own personal purpose, received a challenge, and (because of corona) shared the process and results through their social media channels. Discussion: Let’s talk numbers: our campaign reached 270.013 unique viewers, the content received 279.265 impressions, and the UFLP-website’s views increased with 9,14%. Our own analysis of reactions to posts indicates we reached a lot of people from an ethnic background. Up next? Concrete steps to actively engage these newly reached youngsters. To be continued!


Yearbook 2020


At Allyens, we never take a break from making marketing and communications more inclusive. But there’s more to life, and there are a lot of other people trying to increase the inclusion in other domains. So, instead of talking about ourselves, we thought it would be nice to put those people in the spotlights. Especially if they aren’t famous (yet), even if they do really incredible things we sometimes wish we would have thought of. And that’s it. That’s how we came up with the inclusive top 30. Ready to discover the 30 amazing and inspiring role models who wow-ed us in 2020?


Yearbook 2020

CHARLIE DE WULF (they/them) Director and Screenwriter Charlie creates space for minority groups in the media, with a focus on children and youth. They released 4 projects in 2020: Brak, Marit & the Maximarket, Wantje & de Wheezers and Soulsearchers. Impressive much!

CHRISTINA DE WITTE (CHROSTIN) (she/her) Illustrator and cartoonist who uses her alter ego Chrostin to comment on racism. Christina would like to mean the same thing to the Asian community as Dalilla Hermans does to the Black community, and accoridng to us, she’s been well on her way in 2020.

IKRAM AOULAD (she/her) Actress who tells the story of first-generation immigrants. You can see her in the new series Black-out and the theatre piece Antigone in Molenbeek. We’ll be on the first row for sure!

melat gebeyaw nigussie (she/her) Founded the afro-collective Belgian Renaissance in 2013, and worked inside and outside of institutions that struggle with real inclusion for the last years. In 2020 Melat became the new general director of the Beursschouwburg. She wants to turn it into a place where everyone is truly welcome.

MOHAMMED OUAAMARI (he/him) Online editor and columnist. Mohamed likes to comment on the current state of affairs. In 2020 he wrote the book “Groetjes uit Vlaanderen”, in which he wonders if he can actually call himself Flemish. With the necessary humour.


NADIA NSAYI (she/her) Political scientist with a focus on Congo. In 2020 she wrote the book “Dochter van de dekolonisatie” and she does not want to stick to living room activism. We like!

PHARA DE AGUIRRE (she/her) Journalist and presenter. In 2020 she gave a face to refugees with the series “Vijf jaar hier”, in which she ensured a representative (and inclusive) image!

MORGANE GIELEN (she/her) Fashion photographer whose project No Babes features models who do not meet the classical beauty standards. She questions taboos and beauty standards by representing all kinds of body types and (dis) abilities. She’s currently working on a book you can pre-order.

Sarah el Massaoudi (she/her) Social worker, human rights activist and (almost) always busy. For example, Sarah is one of the founders of #allemaalvanbelang, where young people can share their daily experiences with discrimination after the election victory of Vlaams Belang. She is also a member of the board of directors at Kif Kif and Formaat, she is a volunteer at Baas Over Eigen Hoofd! (Boeh!) and Young FENIX, and she is a columnist at

SENNE MISPLON (he/him) Calls himself an enthusiastic and driven Duracell bunny. And that’s quite necessary with all of the things he does. Not only is Senne a spokesperson for Wel Jong Niet Hetero, he also gives lectures and readings about his experiences as a trans man. In 2020 he participated in De Slimste Mens.


Yearbook 2020

DALILA HERMANS (she/her) Writer and one of the best-known anti-racism activists. And she’s known from opinion pieces, interviews, to tv performances. Is there anything she hasn’t done yet? In 2020 Dalilla came out with her first theatre piece “her(e)”, about the road black women are on to be okay with themselves.

NADIA HADAD (she/her) Nadia is an engineer, vice president of the Brussels Advisory Board for People with a disablity, member of multiple commissions and panels (such as GRIP vzw and UNIA), supports students with their dissertations about Applied Technology and disabilities and she gives a bunch of lectures and training sessions about inclusive collaborations. Impressive much?

PETRA DE SUTTER (she/her) Politician and trans woman, but especially a gynaecologist and a pioneer in fertility treatments for diverse target groups: not only cis women who have difficulties getting pregnant, but also lesbian couples, single parents, and surrogate mothers. No wonder she’s an idol for many trans people.

Doof vlaanderen Hey, this is not a person. That’s right. Doof Vlaanderen is an organization. And yet they are on this list, because they made sure there were Flemish Sign Language interpreters at the corona updates of the National Crisis Cell. This way, they became accessible for deaf people and people with hearing impairment.



Two young filmmakers slash award winners, who both came to Belgium at a young age. Nti is director, Karibove is mainly a writer. With their collaboration ‘Da Yie’, a short film about life in Ghana, they received international awards.


said boumazoughe (he/him) Rapper and actor, founder of hip hop collective NoMoBS and an unintentional role model. Encourages everyone with a migration background to tell their own stories of struggle and to create value in all parts of society, so also in culture, media, education and at universities.

JAOUAD ALLOUL (he/him) Multi-talented artist and LGBT-activist. Wants to give a platform to everyone who struggles with their gender and identity, raises awareness for LGBT-rights in Islam and everywhere else. Jaouad is on a mission to connect people through art and dialogue.

JOZEFIEN DAELEMANS (she/her) Media maker, columnist and writer, and former boss lady of Charlie Magazine. This year she published a book “De naakte waarheid, de body bullshit ont(k)leed”, in which she describes what it is like having female body and the daily implications which go with it.

Mohammed Barrie (he/him) Engaged social worker, vegan, activist and founder of the student organization Ayo (African Youth Organization). Has a lot to say about racism, power, discrimination and veganism. Writes for KifKif, StampMedia and de Morgen.

JOPPE DE CAMPENEERE (they/them) Queer role model who is actively talking on social media about societal issues, such as gender and sexuality. According to HLN, they made viewers of “De Zevende Dag” choke on their coffee by talking about gender expression on the show. They also are - quite important to know - one of our favourite fashion icons.


Yearbook 2020

YASSINE BOUBOUT (he/him) Activist who combats ethnic profiling during police interventions. He protects this human right by giving Know Your Rightsworkshops, in which he teaches young people and youth workers about their rights. Besides that, he advices police forces on how they can handle ethnic profiling internally.



This duo is the power behind #SheDIDIT, a platform for female entrepreneurs no matter their ethnic-cultural backgrounds. They like to put women with a migration background in the spotlight and support them in realising their dreams.

FATIMA-ZOHRA AIT EL MAÂTI (she/her) Founder of Imazi.Reine, a radical inclusive feminist collective. Fatima Played a prominent role at #HijabisFightBack. She also steps up to improve the (digital) capacity that is needed to build a flourishing, inclusive, local community.

Sou Nsuki (she/her) Soe became popular with the Belgian audience as a comedian, but she also shows her serious side: her testimonials about growing up as a person of colour with ADHD, poverty and representation of Black women in contemporary media gave a lot of people recognition.

UWI VAN HAUWERMEIREN (they/them) Blogger who has been active for many years on the blog tempspournous. That blog grew to an Instagram page with a big audience. Personal testimonials in response to the Black Liberation Movement, but also their own experiences as a non-binary person of colour keep Uwi’s audience on the edge of their seats.


mathieu zana etambala (he/him) Congolese-Belgian historian. He teaches at KU Leuven, researches the Congolese history between 1876 and 1914, and the diverse dynamics that set African communities and people in motion. In 2020 he wrote the book “Veroverd. Bezet. Gekoloniseerd.”



Founders of the organization ‘A Seat At The Table’, a platform that guides underprivileged youth to the business world.

souhaila akarkach (she/her) Care teacher, sports coach and entrepreneur. She taught deaf and hearing impaired kids for three years. Last year she decided to start her own fitness center ‘De Sportstudio’. Her goal is to empower (underprivileged) women and have them exercise.

jenebah kamara (she/her) Project collaborator at Wel Jong Niet Hetero and founder of Jabari, a safe(r) space for and by queer youth of colour. Regularly talks about the importance of representation of people of colour. Not only on television, but also at social non-profit organizations who could use an extra dose of intersectionality.

SERINE AYARI (she/her) Actress and stand-up comedian who has been on stages in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. She uses humour to discuss the position of women in society. Talks about her life, her Tunisian roots and what it is like to grow up as a child of migrants. With a healthy dose of self-mockery.


Yearbook 2020

2020 in facts:



nomination for the Effie Awards, 0 wins, 100% determination for next year.



A website available in 2 languages (Dutch and English! And with correct grammar most of the time.)


candles on our birthday cake!

30 34

1📚 10

publication (our first e-book! On inclusive marketing!)


brilliant, amazing, wonderful, (keep the compliments coming, plz) team members. Or: we doubled in size!


30 role models in our Inclusive Top 30 list.

minutes in zoomcalls wondering if our colleague actually had pants on.

1 🏃🏃🏃🏃

1 virtual team building (which got quite competitive)




happy pets because their owners were home at all times.

28619 🤡 10 seconds of lame jokes.

246 flourishing plants because their owners were home at all times.


gifts exchanged!

46 🦄 300 📈 posts on Instagram.

A 300% increase in our use of emoji’s.

🏇 63

km of pacing between our desks and our living rooms.


Yearbook 2020

As we’re nearing the end of this yearbook, we’re pretty confident you can tell it’s been quite the ride. We learned that we can go strong, even under the most unforeseen circumstances. That’s a good thing because we also saw a lot of things that, according to us, prove inclusion is only gonna become more important in the following years. • • • • • • • • • • •


When it comes to further research, we will: Keep increasing our own knowledge and skills Give webinars to increase yours Write more ebooks Organize an inclusion event Award managers who champion inclusion Increase our community Continue our international adventures Join a secret network Have more collaborations And probably a lot more!

In short: we’re looking forward to the future. It’s bright, we’ve got our sunscreen, our sunglasses and we’re ready for it. And, okay, yes, we’re also ready for a party in real life. Until then: thanks to everyone who was a part of our 2020. See you next year! Allyens 37


CONTACT Allyens BVBA Oranjestraat 44 2060 Antwerpen tel: 03 435 66 60