June 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, bringing with it over 500 passengers from the Caribbean. It will be a time of celebration of the longer history of the presence of people of Afro-Caribbean heritage in the UK. But that anniversary also comes in the wake of the Windrush Scandal, which saw members of that community arrested, detained and in some cases deported, despite having every right to remain in the UK. You are invited to join us as we explore over the course of a day-long conference how the scandal was possible and what its impact is likely to be. 

75 years ago, HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks. This much-celebrated anniversary, however, comes in the wake of the 2018  Windrush Scandal which saw members of the Caribbean community arrested, detained and, in some cases deported. This was despite the fact they had every right to remain and live in the UK. 

The day will be hosted by the research team behind the AHRC-sponsored project, ‘The Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context.’ The conference and evening entertainment will also mark the launch of the Windrush Project website and a series of roadshow events designed to open a dialogue about the findings of the research.

Confirmed Speakers

Martin Forde
Gus John
Amelia Gentleman
Arthur Snell
Stella Dadzie
Anna Steiner

Provisional Programme

All welcome but advance booking is required.

10:30 | Registration

11:00 | Welcome & Introductions

11:15 | Panel One: Taking the long view. How was the Windrush Scandal Possible?

12:30 | Lunch

13:45 | Panel Two: A Long History of Deportation and Anti-Deportation Campaigns.

15:00 | Panel Three: Commonwealth High Commissions, International Diplomacy and UK-Caribbean Relations.

16:15 | Break

16:30 | Roundtable Discussion: Looking to the Future – Reparations, Compensation and Justice

17:30 | Concluding remarks and welcome to evening events.

18:00 | Evening event begins

Conference Programme

Remembering the Ship in Citizenship…

This free evening event rounds off a day-long conference on The Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context, offering us an opportunity to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Windrush and to reflect on the contributions of the so-called ‘Windrush Generation’ to British society.  

One of his famous poems implores us to ‘remember the ship in citizenship’ and fittingly offers us the title of this evening’s event. 

This event has been supported by the School of Advanced Study, John Coffin Memorial Fund and Renaissance One.

…An Evening with John Agard and Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Windrush

Readings from the internationally renowned poet and playwright, John Agard will form the centrepiece of the evening.  Agard was born in British Guiana (present-day Guyana) in 1949 and has lived in the UK since 1977 working for the Commonwealth Institute and the BBC. He is the winner of the 1997 Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry and the 2021 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In November 2021 he became the first poet to be awarded the Book Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His works have featured on the AQA English GCSE syllabus since 2002. He has been engaged in a wide range of Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange initiatives, including serving as poet-in-residence at the National Maritime Museum in 2008.

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