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An open letter on solidarity with our Chinese community.

20th February 2020

We are proud of Southampton’s culturally diverse history which is an important part of our city’s identity. At this time of worldwide concern about the novel coronavirus Covid-19, we would like to take this opportunity to express our support for anyone who may have family and friends in countries heavily affected by the outbreak, especially China.  

Southampton has long been noted for its friendliness and we have been saddened to hear reports of a number of recent incidents of verbal abuse targeted at members of our Asian community.

We wish to reaffirm that anyone who experiences a racist incident can confidently report it with the expectation that it will be investigated and appropriate actions taken. We have an inclusive culture, free from discrimination and based on the values of dignity, courtesy and respect. We recognise the right of every person to be treated in accordance with these values.

Southampton has a longstanding Chinese community, families who have contributed significantly to the city and its vibrant culture for many years. Together with the students who come here to study we offer them our support and goodwill.

Professor Mark E. Smith CBE, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton

Emily Harrison, President, University of Southampton Students’ Union (SUSU)

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor, Solent University

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council Cabinet member for Homes and Culture