Black Cultural Archives join new government Windrush group

Black Cultural ArchivesBrixton’s Black Cultural Archives (BCA) has accepted a government invitation to join a new Windrush cross-government working group.

Home Secretary Priti Patel launched the group today (22 June, Windrush Day). She will chair it jointly with Bishop Derek Webley of the New Testament Church of God.

A Home Office statement said it would bring together “stakeholders and community leaders with senior representatives from a number of government departments to address the challenges faced by the Windrush generation and their descendants”.

Other members include Bishop Joe Aldred from Churches Together in England; Paulette Simpson, executive director of the Voice newspaper; Blondel Cluff, chief executive of the West India Committee charity and Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change England.

It will also include senior representatives of government departments.

Arike Oke, head of BCA
Arike Oke

Arike Oke, BCA’s managing director, will represent it on the group.

“We have accepted the invitation as part of our commitment to using our active voice for positive change in the spaces we occupy for our community,” the BCA said it a statement.

It said group members would:

  • Be a part of supporting and advising the government on the Windrush Scheme and associated work
  • Provide feedback and insights from their communities
  • Use their expertise and experience to assist in developing and delivering practical solutions
  • Engage in an open and honest dialogue on the issues impacting on their communities
  • Work in partnership to co-design and deliver an action plan setting out agreed programmes and projects, with clear outcomes.

BCA said it welcomed the intention of the working group to hold government to account in implementing the recommendations of the reports and inquiries it has commissioned.

This includes the Windrush Lessons Learned report, which made recommendations for the reform of the Home Office.

Dawn Hill CBE, chair of BCA’s board of trustees, said its involvement in the group “is founded on the principle of positive action for change at policy level. We are optimistic that the working group will have the power to influence and that government will listen.”

“We are hopeful that the formation of this group is a positive step forward to a more just and equal society.”