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26.10.2018

“Open to Diversity – Closed to Exclusion”: Joint initiative by business enterprises in the state of HesseKassel-based companies take a stand for diversity and respect ahead of state elections

Kassel. Several companies from the Kassel region took a stand for cosmopolitanism, diversity and tolerance today. In large-scale newspaper advertisements ahead of the state elections in Hesse, they declare their commitment to respect and the rule of law and appeal for support for the “Open to Diversity – Closed to Exclusion” initiative. This initiative is sponsored by the HÜBNER Group, K+S Aktiengesellschaft, Kasseler Sparkasse, the Schaltbau Bode Group and the international gas and oil producer Wintershall. 

“We are aware of the responsibility we bear for our employees, our reputation as a company and our region. The events of the past months – attacks on people who have become targets because of their origin, religion or commitment to democracy and diversity – are something we cannot tolerate in any shape or form,” states a joint press release about the initiative: “Our employees are as diverse and different as the jobs they do. They are crucial to the success of our companies – and what is even more important: All these colleagues are valuable members of our society!”

“We as companies put our trust in our free democratic order governed by the rule of law. We are committed to values such as respect, tolerance and the willingness to engage in dialog. That is precisely what we express with our initiative and the slogan Open to Diversity – Closed to Exclusion!” state the companies.

 

 

About the initiative

The full-page newspaper advertisement that was published in today’s Hessische Allgemeine (HNA) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung shows a large-scale image of the front and rear of a door sign we all know from retail stores to show their opening and closing times. The advertisement’s core idea is a play on words based on that image, using the terms “open” and “closed” to denote the times at which a store opens and closes, as well as a moral/social stance toward an issue – in this case toward diversity, exclusion and xenophobia. 

The front of the sign bears the advertisement’s main message “Open to Diversity”, while its rear conversely reads in red font: “Closed to Exclusion”. A short copy-text below the motif explains the intention and motivations of the signatory companies. The text also points out that the door sign depicted in the advertisement actually exists and can be ordered free of charge. 

The initiators of the diversity initiative will send several hundred copies of the door sign to decision-makers and other entrepreneurs in their home city of Kassel. They reference the initiative they have launched and are continuing to promote it on the companies’ respective social media channels.

Citizens and businesspeople from Kassel wishing to join in the initiative can request door signs free of charge. Call (+49561 / 203-1476) and the Hessische Allgemeine (HNA) will send you copies for free.