The Windrush Defenders digital forum is joining forces with the West Indian Sports and Social Club, Louise DaCocodia Education Trust and Arawak Walton Housing Association to bridge insights from community testimony, research and legal analysis.
Inspired by the testimony of the Windrush Generation, the aim of the digital forum is to amplify and coordinate the “Burning Work” of key community figures tackling racial disparities in community cohesion, criminal justice, education, health and work.
On one hand, the term ‘Burning Work’ represents the intergenerational struggle to end the serious harm caused through unlawful detentions, deportations, and discriminatory approaches to policing which reinforce racial disparities. On another hand, it highlights the historic journey of organisations working to overcome obstacles in setting up cultural centres, churches, office blocks - finding community in the bass of soundsystems remixing cultural scenes.
In the Wake
In the wake of the 2018 Windrush Scandal, Windrush Defenders Legal C.I.C was established in Moss Side, Manchester. Led by British citizens of African and Caribbean descent, it is a community legal surgery working to support people document their status who migrated from former colonies of the United Kingdom (UK). After decades of hostile approaches to immigration control and enforcement by both major political parties, testimonies from the Windrush Generation describing their experience have lit up patterns of racial injustice across multiple social and economic areas of life.
For this next stage of burning work, the Windrush Defenders digital forum aims to begin coordinating research on a new legislative framework to support those working to tackle racial disparities and implement Wendy Williams Windrush Lessons Learned Review recommendations . At this online event, guest speakers will first situate the case of Windrush within its historical context, followed by a presentation on the Windrush Scheme and Compensation schemes by the government appointed Director of the Windrush, Asylum, Immigration and Citizenship. This will allow participants to hear the current design of justice, in order to create space for burning questions. Interspersed with music from the Men of Sound project at West Indian Sports and Social Club, participants will then have the option of breaking out into five digital rooms where guest speakers will address the intersecting themes of community cohesion, criminal justice, education, health, & work. Attendees will then regroup to feedback, and finally listen to a presentation on a forward vision for the next stage of the project.
Prof Carole Baxter CBE - Diversity & Inclusion and Human Rights Consultant
Dan Hobbs - Director Windrush, Asylum, Immigration and Citizenship at UK Home Office
Jacqueline McKenzie - Solicitor, Centre for Migration Advice and Research, McKenzie Beute and Pope.
Tom Nelson - West Indian Sports and Social Club
Charles Critchlow - Former Head of the National Black Police Association
Carson Arthur - MPhil/PhD Criminology Birkbeck, University of London
Sir Geoffrey Palmer OBE - Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University
Louis Brown - Teacher at Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust & Mathematics student at Oxford University
Faye Bruce - Chair of the Caribbean and African Health Network & Doctoral Researcher
Dawn Edge - University of Manchester’s Academic Lead for Equality Diversity & Inclusion, and Senior Lecturer in the Division of Psychology & Mental Health
Paul Davidson - Director of TYFDSAI African Diaspora Business Acquisition Club Ltd
Paul Obinna - Director and Designer at Lineage Innovation