Action for Race Equality (ARE) is today delighted to be commemorating the historic milestone being marked across the UK and further afield: 75 years since the arrival of the Windrush Generation at Tilbury Docks in 1948, which saw one of the first large groups of passengers from the Caribbean, and other Commonwealth countries, arrive in the UK.
These individuals, and the subsequent arrivals in the 50s, 60s and 70s are known as the Windrush Generation, and played an instrumental role in shaping the cultural, social, and economic landscape of the British cities and towns they settled in. This Generation played a huge role in post-WWII rebuilding efforts following intense labour shortages in the UK.
This Windrush anniversary, which falls on the 22nd of June every year, ARE pays tribute to the invaluable contributions made by the Windrush pioneers and their descendants to the fabric of UK society up until today, as well as remembering their triumphs and their struggles.
Through a series of staff events, a youth competition and our ongoing work on the Windrush Justice Programme, ARE has been addressing the Windrush legacy, celebrating the vibrant multicultural heritage that the Windrush Generation brought to the UK, all whilst addressing the injustices of the Windrush Scandal to ensure that the wrongs of the past, and the hostile and discriminatory policies many from that Generation still face, cease to exist.
So many people came from the Caribbean to build new national services like London Transport and the NHS. Many worked in the public sector like my parents and then went on to set up their own businesses. They brought food, music, intelligence, knowledge, skills and a culture so incredibly rich that it has touched every part of the UK and those who live within it now. Not just the direct descendants like me, but every single person in some shape or form.”Indra Nauth, Programme Director
The greatest contribution of the Windrush generation has been giving a voice to Black people and has inspired other Black communities in the UK to keep fighting for equal rights.Victoria Atanda, Project Support Officer
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Dawn Butler MP and Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard at our Windrush Scandal: 5 years on event
Many of our staff have personal connections to this history. They shared the migration stories that have impacted their families at a special Windrush 75 lunch held at Voluntary Action Islington. The stories, put on display in the building for a range of charities to see, made visible the range of journeys from the Caribbean and wider Commonwealth that so many of ARE’s relations and friends have made – as well as the food passed down and enjoyed today!
We will be continuing to collate this gallery of stories, through our Windrush Voices competition, open to young people aged 10-18. Entrants will have the chance to have their Windrush stories featured in our celebrations later in the year, and a selection of prizes will be on offer, including two tickets to Paris on the Eurostar and class-set of Baroness Floella Benjamin’s middle-grade novel, Coming to England (courtesy of Pan Macmillan Children’s Books).
Join the celebrations, remember the Windrush Legacy, and enter our competition!