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Solent will continue in its commitment to be a fair, diverse and cohesive University that challenges and tackles social inequality 

4th June 2020

As a welcoming, diverse and inclusive University, we add our voice to the protests sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and join the millions supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

We acknowledge that racism exists and recognise that it occurs overtly and through microaggressions. We will not tolerate racism or any other behaviour that is not inclusive and will continue to take action whenever it occurs. 

Knowledge is power and we will continue to raise and support the aspirations of those who wish to learn, whatever their background; educate those who want to succeed in life; and produce graduates who are ready to become leaders in their industries and role models for their communities. 

Community is at the heart of what we do and who we are at Solent. We are proud of our track record of supporting and working with BAME people and other partners across Southampton and we continue to strengthen our commitment to creating a city where Black people can thrive.  

A few of our recent initiatives which are a part of our whole institution approach to tackling racism and its impacts include:  

  • We are a proud sponsor of Southampton’s Black History Month, which marks the contribution and achievements made by the city’s black community. 

  • We have made a commitment in our Civic Charter to be a fair, diverse and cohesive University that challenges and tackles social inequality and, to reflect our local community, we aim to increase enrolments from the black and Asian community to represent 20% of our student population by 2024. 

  • We continued our work to decolonise the curriculum through our recent curriculum review.  

  • We have increased BAME representation at senior staff levels, launched our BAME staff group and our Equality and Diversity Committee.   

  • In the last year we have received funding from the Office for Students (OfS) for our Human Library project addressing religious intolerance and a bursary supported conversion PG course to encourage BAME students to move into Computing.     

  • We have registered our commitment to the principles of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter, which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. 

We recognise that much more work needs to be done to understand and address society’s inequalities, and we will continue to learn and do more going forward. These resources may be of interest to those who wish to increase their understanding of the issues raised by recent events, and our Student Union has produced this guide for students who want to help impact change and educate themselves. 

Finally, we are sadly aware that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting the lives of BAME individuals. As a University we are committed to addressing this issue, including full risk assessments and relevant actions plans in place to support all BAME staff and students when we are able to return to campus.  

Moving forward, Solent will continue in its commitment to be a fair, diverse and cohesive University that challenges and tackles social inequality. 

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor 
Grace Davis, Head of Student Voice, Solent Students’ Union 

 

Support is available:  

If any staff or students from the BAME community have been impacted by recent events, please take a look below for some of the support available to you: 

  • Bill Acharjee, Solent Research Governance Officer and Southampton District Black Members Officer: “For any members of our community feeling angry, sad, scared or frustrated, we are here to support you. Please get in touch: bill.acharjee@solent.ac.uk.” 

  • Solent’s Student Hub is a third-party hate crime reporting centre. This means anyone who has been affected by hate crime can visit the Hub for support and advice, without the need to go to the police or disclose personal details. Anyone wishing to report a hate crime can email the Student Hub via student.hub@solent.ac.uk.  

  • Our Health Assured staff helpline and counselling service offers expert advice and compassionate guidance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.