On Saturday 28th October, Action for Race Equality were proud to host a free community event in the London Borough of Ealing, in partnership with Descendants Youth charity as part of Black History Month.
Tailored for families and young people, this commemorative event centered around the theme of Caribbean Connections, and simultaneously celebrated the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival at Tilbury Docks in Essex. This has been marked nation-wide all through 2023 as #Windrush75.
Caribbean Connections saw local charities, parents, young people and community leaders, including guest of honour Cllr. Munir Ahmed, former Mayor of Acton, come together to hear and see how young people have been learning about their heritages and histories, especially through creative expression.
Young People’s Contributions:
- Children from Descendants Youth took center stage, delivering a heart-warming children’s poetry performance of Windrush Child by John Agard.
- A thought-provoking Intergenerational Windrush Panel, starring Margaret Noel, James Lee, Eden Sylvester and Jaquan Tobin, chaired by ARE’s Indra Nauth, provided a platform for elders to share their stories about the Caribbean and their journeys to the UK, and for young people to ask questions about this history, bridging the gap between generations.
- The Grip project, a multi-medium textile project by artist Candice Sobers in collaboration with children from Descendants, was also revealed for the very first time.
Performances and Speakers:
- Valentine Ogunba, Routes2Success role-model gave a powerful spoken word performance brought to life the experiences of the Windrush Generation, captivating the audience with poignant storytelling.
- Nicola Sylvester delivered a heartfelt Black History Tribute, acknowledging the resilience and achievements embedded in the community’s history.
- Akeera Belfont, 2023’s Junior Calypso winner, added a vibrant musical rhythm to the celebration, and made everyone want to sing along!
Competition Winners Announcement:
The Windrush Voices competition, by Action for Race Equality, ran from June 22nd to October 15th, and recognised voices that beautifully captured the spirit of the Windrush Generation.
The winners were announced on the day with the Mayor of Acton presenting the entrants and winners with certificates and prizes! We are delighted to share the names of the young people who won.
Winner: Ishaq Maclachlan, Woodhouse College
Runner up: Reaiah Barnett, William Perkin CofE High School
Runner up: Sebastian Sylvester, Moggerhanger Primary School
Shiloh Evans, Eden Sylvester, Lake Addersman, Skye Brown, Amari Brown and Lagdon were also commended by the judges for their exceptional entries! Congratulations to all who submitted such fantastic work.
Thank you for both the competition and the prize. It has made us all very proud and reinforced Ishaq’s plan to make a career out of his writing.Parent, Ishaq Maclachlan, ARE Windrush Voices winner
Attendees were treated to a day filled with cultural performances, and insightful discussions, making this event a memorable tribute to the Windrush Generation and a celebration of Black history.
Photo credits: Cruzer Films