The Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise has been secured funding to stage an exhibition paying tribute to the Windrush generation’s contribution to business and social reform in the city.
The project will be hosted at Unity Business Centre in Chapeltow and will feature short interviews with local Windrush reformers, produced in collaboration with Leeds Trinity University.
The video will be complemented by photographs showing the growth and variety of Leeds Windrush businesses and their positive impact on the communities they serve.
The announcement comes ahead of the fourth national Windrush Day, which celebrates the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendents to British life.
Cedric Boston, Unity’s interim chief executive, said: “We are proud to have secured the funding to deliver a truly first-class exhibition, in partnership with Leeds Trinity University, which will be closely aligned with our values and social purpose.
“The Windrush generation has been pivotal in Unity’s establishment and growth and so much of our success as a community-focused organisation rooted in Chapeltown is down to them.
“Everyone at Unity is looking forward to raising awareness of the challenges the Windrush generation faced and how they overcame each hurdle with dignity and grace.”
The exhibition has been funded following a successful bid to the government’s annual Windrush Day Grant Scheme, first launched in 2019.
Applicants were invited to devise projects that “will bring communities together, create a lasting impact and improve education and learning through building a deeper understanding of the Windrush Generation and their contributions to British society.”
The exhibition will open to the public on Windrush Day 2021, Tuesday 22 June, and will run until the end of 2021.
Katherine Blair, senior professional practice fellow and broadcast journalism programme leader at Leeds Trinity University, said: “We are delighted to work with Unity on this exciting and timely project to celebrate the hugely positive impact the Windrush generation and their descendants have made on the city.
“It is a privilege for Leeds Trinity University journalism students to have the opportunity to provide a medium for these inspirational people to tell their stories.”
Cy Powell, who arrived in the UK on a scholarship from Jamaica in 1966 and serves on Unity’s Enterprise Board, said: “The exhibition will be about remembrance and informing younger people about the significant contribution of the Windrush Generation to this country.
“Their achievements have not been forgotten but they have been elided. Unity now has a platform to change that.”
Image: Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise’s interim CEO. Credit: Unity Homes and Enterprise.