Hackney celebrates 75th anniversary of Windrush with events throughout the year
This year marks 75 years since 500 passengers from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks on the HMT Empire Windrush. They would be the first of many who were invited by successive governments between 1948 and 1971 to relocate to Britain from their homes in Commonwealth countries, to address labour shortages.
Hackney Council will be celebrating the anniversary and the incredible contribution of the Windrush Generation in shaping the future of Britain, through a series of events, activities, exhibitions, workshops and the sharing of authentic and diverse stories throughout the year.
Upcoming events include:
- Windrush compensation scheme drop-in clinics, offering free and confidential advice to anyone who thinks they may be eligible for compensation from the government as a result of the Windrush scandal.
- A panel discussion with Amelia Gentleman, author of The Windrush Betrayal, discussing life in the UK before and after the Windrush scandal.
- All the Generations Windrush Zine-making workshop.
- Poetry and prose readings by the Afrikan Heritage Writers Group.
- As well as a whole host of projects funded by this year’s Windrush Microgrant scheme
Keep an eye on the Windrush 75 Events Calendar to find out what’s happening in the borough and beyond to celebrate this special anniversary.
Earlier this year, Cllr Williams and the Mayor of Hackney wrote to the Home Office calling on the Government to reverse its hostile environment policies, to hold a public inquiry, and to learn lessons from the Windrush scandal, so that a similar situation cannot arise in the future for other migrant communities.
It is vital we properly recognise the contribution of the Windrush generation and migrant communities. The Windrush generations have left a strong and enduring legacy, permanently shaping and enriching Britain’s cultural identity, academic, political and professional landscape.
At Hackney Council, through initiatives like our Review, Rename and Reclaim work and the Windrush Artwork Commission, we are working to ensure our public spaces and art reflect the borough’s diverse history and rich history. My hope is these values will one day be reflected at a national level too. In the meantime, we continue to demand the Government fulfil its promise to right the wrongs of the Windrush scandal and ensure all those eligible for compensation receive the justice they deserve.
National Windrush Day
Although Windrush Day has been celebrated in the Caribbean community for years, National Windrush Day was introduced in the UK on June 1st 2018 on the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration. The day marks the arrival of African-Caribbean immigrants to the shores of Britain and honours the British Caribbean community. An estimated half a million people made their way to England after the Second World War.
In 2018, Hackney was the first UK council to pass a comprehensive Motion regarding the Windrush generation. Alongside lobbying for justice for those affected by the Windrush Scandal, honouring the Windrush community is key to the borough’s commitments. Hackney Council’s Windrush Engagement Program supports the borough’s ongoing pledge to honor the valuable contributions of the Windrush generation. https://hackney.gov.uk/windrush
Hackney Windrush Art Commission
Veronica Ryan's fruit sculptures and Thomas J Price's 'Warm Shores' were commissioned by Hackney Council and produced and curated by Create London. The Hackney Windrush Art Commission was made possible with Art Fund support and additional funding from the Henry Moore Foundation. The accompanying public programme was supported by the Freelands Foundation.