This Windrush Day (Tuesday 22 June), Oxford City Council is highlighting the contribution the Windrush generation have made to Oxford.
Thousands of people from the Caribbean responded to the government’s invitation to live and work in the UK from the 1940s-1970s, to help rebuild the country. Their contribution is still making a difference today. Many came to help build the fledgling NHS, work in essential services like transport, and - in Oxford - to work in the Cowley plant. As well as rebuilding the economy they helped shape our culture, influencing -greatly - aspects such as music, fashion, food and the arts.
In 2018 the Windrush scandal revealed that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the Windrush generation, had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights.
Two years ago, a Windrush Compensation Scheme was set up for those who had been affected by the scandal through loss of employment, benefits or any other form of hardship.
“Windrush Day this year is particularly poignant as it coincides with a time of national and international reflection on the racial inequalities in our society brought to stark attention by Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matters movement.
“We will take this moment to recognise and thank the Windrush generation for their contributions to the city and to call for further action to redress societal imbalances inflicted as a result of race.
“We also stand in solidarity with families of the Windrush generation in our community and impacted by the immigration scandal seeking redress, compensation, and justice.”
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities
On 22 April, Oxford Windrush Group confirmed that as in previous years, events will take place in the weeks leading up to and following the day.
The council supports the organisation and sentiment of these events and those being held nationally.
June 22: Pitt Rivers Museum
On Windrush Day, there will be a talk followed by a Q&A session.
There will also be the opportunity to find out more about the Windrush compensation schemes.
June 25-26: Gloucester Green Market
An arts project that explores people, place, and identity. It will collect people’s stories and thoughts around the theme of belonging.
July 4: Cowley Road Carnival
While not on the streets again this year due to the pandemic, a group of young people will attempt to recreate the taste, feel, colour and look of the 26 Caribbean islands.