Throughout the coronavirus pandemic the UEA University of Sanctuary initiative will adapt its way of working to ensure that we continue to build a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees within the university community and society as a whole. Please follow this page for the latest information on our work.
Statement against racism by the University of Sanctuary and Changing the Culture initiatives
25th March 2020
The spread of the coronavirus transcends boundaries and identities. It affects people regardless of their nationality, gender, age, socio-economic standing, political loyalties or citizenship status.
Yet, reports are increasing that coronavirus concerns are being used to harass individuals on the basis of their perceived nationality. As the University of Sanctuary and Changing the Culture initiatives at UEA, we want to make explicit that such hostile attitudes – which target members of particular communities and present them as a “threat” – are racist and completely unacceptable.
As a University of Sanctuary, we are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, and it is the spirit of sanctuary – not fear and anger – that is most needed in these uncertain times. Even though we must re-adjust our social routines, we must not lose our sense of compassion and openness to others, as otherwise we would find ourselves on a slippery slope to growing intolerance and many more types of exclusion. Coronavirus does not discriminate, it affects us all, and we have to respond as one – we are all in this together.
If you or someone you know has experienced verbal or non-verbal harassment, please report this to https://reportandsupport.uea.ac.uk/. If you would like to find out more about the University of Sanctuary initiative, please see https://www.ueasanctuary.org/ or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .