Event: 11th January 2022 – Windrush 75 Network Meeting

Shashi

Windrush 75 Network Meeting

About Windrush Day and the Windrush 75 network

The arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks in June 1948 has become a key symbolic moment in the story of the Black British contribution to Britain and the broader post-war migration from across the Commonwealth and beyond that reshaped the modern Britain that we share today.

The late Sam King, RAF veteran and Windrush passenger conceived of the idea of marking the anniversary as Windrush Day. From 2013, a broad civic coalition of over 100 civic society voices came together to mark the 65th anniversary as the inaugural Windrush Day – as an opportunity to give thanks for the positive contributions made by those who have come to Britain from overseas. We pledged that “this and every year, Windrush Day should be an inclusive celebration of the Britain that we are proud to call home”, building on earlier efforts to build public awareness of Windrush as a foundational moment in the making of modern Britain. Later, Windrush Day became publicly recognised by the government in 2018, as part of its response to the injustices of the Windrush scandal.

The 75th anniversary year offers an opportunity to seek the widest possible recognition of Windrush Day, and to deepen the public conversation about the past, present and future of multi-ethnic Britain at a crucial time for the public conversation about race and identity in Britain.

Many of us who worked together to establish Windrush Day are planning to work together again in the Windrush 75 network, and would like to invite you to join us in this. Windrush 75 network members would be invited to promote the following broad vision and shared goals:

> To encourage the maximum possible recognition and participation of Windrush Day as a national moment.

> To broaden public knowledge and understanding of the contribution of the Windrush generation and the broader history of race and migration in Britain. The anniversary is an opportunity to improve how this is taught in schools, and publicly recognised.

> To use the 75th anniversary year to deepen the public conversation about the present and future of modern Britain, in ways that can advance race equality and strengthen our common ground in Britain today.

The Windrush anniversary is a national moment that everybody can choose to mark in the way that is right for them. So, the Windrush 75 network will not seek to control or determine the many meanings of the Windrush story, nor would network members be committed to any collective positions. Rather, our intention is to take a pluralist approach to pursue this broad vision, including amplifying independent efforts around the country, and encouraging the widest possible participation across civic institutions.

 

We plan to hold online convening sessions from January 2022 – with an initial meeting on Tuesday 11th January, 5pm – 730pm. We would like to hear about existing plans and discuss initial ideas for the 75th anniversary. It would be great if you would like to join the network, or to come to one of the sessions to hear more about this, and to help us to shape the agenda. Our current intention would be to publicly announce the Windrush 75 network, in June 2022, one year ahead of the 75th anniversary.

To attend the Windrush 75 network meeting, please email michelle@britishfuture.org who will then send you a Zoom link. If you can’t make this session, but would like to join the network, or meet to discuss this, please do let us know.

Further, if you have any existing plans that you would like to share during the meeting, please indicate this to michelle@britishfuture.org or patrickvernon@btconnect.com ahead of the meeting.

Patrick Vernon Sunder Katwala