On June 22nd, Windrush Defenders digital forum will bridge insights from community testimony, research and legal analysis in association with the West Indian Sports and Social Club, Louise DaCocodia Education Trust and Arawak Walton Housing Association. This is to amplify their work, but crucially, to extend the terms for understanding related racial disparities in health, education, work, community cohesion and criminal justice.
On one hand, 'burning work' is the intergenerational battle to end the 'serious harm' caused to the Caribbean diaspora by unlawful detentions, deportations, and discriminatory approaches to policing which reinforce structural inequality. On another hand, it is the preventative work of organisations, old and new, setting up in cultural centres, churches, office blocks, and sound system spaces, central to building community cohesion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of this work has been redirected through online digital networks, connecting on a national and international scale to simultaneously respond to the disproportionate Black deaths in the UK while up to 50,000 remain undocumented. Although the aim of Windrush Defenders Legal C.I.C has been to support people with claims to document status, testimonies from the Windrush Generation point to how a hostile environment has restricted community cohesion for decades. This analysis is repeatedly put to government through the Windrush Stakeholders Advisory Group (WSAG) which consists of a group of legal surgeries from Moss Side, Manchester to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, London.