The Official Best Windrush Day Speakers to Hire in 2024
Windrush Day is an annual celebration which was introduced in June 2018 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration. On this day, we recognise and thank the Windrush generation, and their families, for the contributions they have made throughout British society during its recovery from the Second World War. Alongside the celebrations, it is also a chance for us to reflect on the discrimination that this community has faced, both in the past and present.
Who Are the Windrush Generation?
The Windrush generation refers to individuals who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from a wide range of Caribbean countries. Having transported workers from Jamaica, Tobago, Trinidad, and other islands, the ship MV Empire Windrush travelled across seas to help fill the post-war UK labour shortages. Carrying a documented number of 492 passengers, adults and children docked in Tilbury on the 22nd of June 1948 to begin their new lives.
What Was The Windrush Scandal?
The Windrush scandal, which occurred in 2018, kickstarted the UK government’s official apology to people who were denied legal rights, wrongly detained, threatened with deportation, and wrongly deported from the UK after the migration. Despite living and working in the UK for many years, immigrants from the Windrush generation who lacked documentation were unable to continue working, utilise the NHS facilities, or even remain in the UK. In recognition of the mistakes made throughout the Windrush scandal, the government established The Windrush Compensation Scheme in 2019 which aimed to help families who had been affected by their previous actions.
How is Windrush Day Celebrated?
Windrush Day is observed annually on the 22nd of June in recognition of the MV Empire Windrush’s arrival and the wave of immigration that followed from the Caribbean countries. On this important day, we thank the contributions that the Windrush generation have made throughout British society since the migration and reflect on the discrimination they have faced as a minority ethnic group. Leading up to the event, exhibitions, church services, and cultural events will take place to educate audiences on the story behind Windrush. With a wide range of events taking place during this awareness day, a Windrush Day speaker might be the ideal addition to take your event to the next level.
Here at The Diversity & Inclusion Speakers Agency, we have selected our best Windrush Day speakers to hire for events in 2024.
The Top 10 Speakers to Hire for Windrush Day
- Patrick Vernon
- David Olusoga
- Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE
- David Lammy
- Elaine Sihera
- Bernadette Thompson OBE
- Kehinde Andrews
- Dr Audrey Allwood
- June Sarpong
Patrick Vernon OBE is a renowned equality campaigner and educator on Black British history, most prominently the Windrush generation. With over 20 years of experience in his field, he is a leading voice for ethnic minority communities and became the first Director of Black Thrive in 2017. As the proud Founder of 100 Great Black Britons, Patrick has utilised his career to bring heritage and family history to the forefront of society. As one of the leading campaigners for the rights of the Windrush generation, he created the Windrush Justice Fund to support individuals and families who have been affected by the Windrush scandal. An enthusiastic professional, Patrick Vernon is a popular choice for speaking engagements internationally.
“Please extend our thanks to Patrick- it was a really insightful and inspirational session. We look forward to collaborating with him again in the future!”– Nina, Associate Director, Regulatory & Public Policy, Ernst & Young
David Olusoga is a treasured equality advocate who has dedicated his career to raising awareness of Black history. Having spent his childhood in Jamaica before immigrating to Newcastle, David has experienced first-hand the effects of the Windrush, and how society needs to be educated on the effect it has had on his generation. Recognised worldwide as the Author of ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History’, the division and discrimination he has faced throughout his life has driven him to educate a wider society on the need for change. Named in the 100 Most Influential Black Britons and also awarded an OBE for his services to history and community integration, his illustrious career is admired by professionals around the world. When looking to hire a passionate Windrush Day speaker, do not hesitate in hiring David.
“David was great, very inspirational and the staff was really buzzing. The keynote sparked great conversations and hopefully we can continue those in the months to come.”– Klaudia, Staffordshire University
Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE
Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE is an award-winning actress, author, and respected advocate for children’s welfare and education. After moving from Trinidad to England in 1960 as part of the Windrush children, Floella has become an inspiration to audiences around the world. As the proud author of over 30 books, including her autobiography ‘Coming to England’ which was named the ‘Guardian Children’s Book of the Year’, she has utilised her respected status to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion issues that ethnic minority groups continue to face today. A truly inspirational speaker, Floella Benjamin is the ideal equality speaker for a wide range of events.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to Baroness Benjamin for a truly thought-provoking, powerful and amazing inspirational talk at this year’s Deloitte Black History Month celebration. I can honestly say everyone is still buzzing from last week.”–Brian, Risk Advisory IT Business Partner, Deloitte LLP
Akala has gained a respected reputation throughout society for tackling taboo topics in his music, writing, and literature. As one of the 100 Most Influential Black British People, Akala has developed an incredibly successful career over recent years as both a musician and author. Passionate to highlight issues of race, profiling, and poverty in his work, he is greatly recognised for openly stating that the Windrush scandal was not a surprise for him, amongst many others throughout society. A leading figure in his field, Akala shares his personal experiences with racism with audiences and aims to improve awareness of diversity issues with audiences at speaking events.
“As a Citi employee I’d like to thank Akala for speaking last week. I learned a great deal and am extremely grateful.”– James, Citi Bank
David Lammy is a current Member of Parliament for Tottenham and has gained many years of experience in the industry working as a distinguished social activist. With a powerful opinion on the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, he utilises his career to educate audiences on important Black history topics such as the Windrush scandal. Named on the Powerlist of the Most Influential People in the UK of African/American-Caribbean Decent in both 2020 and 2021, his illustrious career has been recognised by professionals worldwide. When looking to hire a knowledgeable speaker to attend your next event, look no further than David Lammy.
“Please would you pass on our thanks and appreciation to David for his time yesterday evening. It was a really engaging and enjoyable conversation and we have had fantastic feedback from our staff- particularly that he was so generous with his time afterwards to stay behind and talk to people”– Macfarlanes LLP
Elaine Sihera has become one of the most popular diversity coaches in the UK, well-renowned for her work throughout the Black community. As a member of the Windrush generation, Elaine has made it her mission to educate society on a wide range of issues that the ethnic minority group face daily. As the proud Founder of the Windrush Achievement Awards, Elaine recognises the positive impact other advocates are having throughout society and ensures that they understand that their work is treasured by the community. Regularly hired as an empowering diversity and inclusion speaker, Elaine is the ideal addition to workshops and conferences internationally.
- Equality/ Diversity Concept and Implementation
- People Motivation & Empowerment
- Corporate Diversity & Effectiveness
Bernadette Thompson OBE
Bernadette Thompson OBE is a beloved diversity and inclusion campaigner, best known as the Associate Director of Inclusion for the Barts Health NHS Trust. A talented HR specialist, she has utilised her high-profile position to make significant advancements towards an inclusive work environment. Having been appointed an OBE for her services to diversity and inclusion, Bernadette is admired by audiences around the world for speaking upon topics such as the Windrush scandal. When looking to hire an articulate speaker, Bernadette is a fantastic choice especially when looking to eliminate racial discrimination.
“I just wanted to say a massive thank you on behalf of the whole team for the session yesterday. You were so engaging and made the team really think about how we can continue to check ourselves and be a truly inclusive team.”– Lindsay, Highly Specialist MSK Physiotherapist, Outpatient Therapies Mile End Hosp
Kehinde Andrews is highly regarded as the first professor of Black Studies in the UK. Currently running the first Black Studies programme in Europe at Birmingham City University, he is determined to educate the younger generation on a wide range of Black history topics, including the Windrush scandal. Having released several books throughout his career, Kehinde is treasured for representing the Black community by using his respected status to further black activism across the country. Renowned for speaking on the link between global institutions and colonialism, racism and ethnicity, hire Kehinde Andrews to share his expertise this Windrush Day.
“It was an absolute pleasure having Professor Andrews speak at Chaucer. We have received nothing but positive feedback about his talk, and as our CEO was very pleased with Kehinde’s talk, I am happy.”– Shirley, Chaucer Group
Dr Audrey Allwood
Dr Audrey Allwood is a leading researcher, author, and anthropologist, best known for her role as a visiting Research Fellow at the Goldsmiths University of London. Having contributed to ABC’s radio programme on Caribbean migration in Brixton, her specialist knowledge is admired by audiences worldwide. At the intersection of mental health, diversity, and well-being, Audrey can cover topics such as Windrush generations, mental health, and change management at events across the UK. When looking to hire a passionate diversity and inclusion speaker for your next event, do not hesitate in hiring Dr Audrey Allwood today.
“Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for this morning’s training session on diversity and inclusion. The information, video and statistics provided were an eye opener. I hope this morning’s training will leave the Results staff thinking about how to make positive changes going forward.”– Christine, Finance Officer, Results
June Sarpong OBE is an admired political broadcaster and advocate for diversity, best known for being a former panellist on Loose Women. As the proud Author of ‘Diversify’, she aims to raise awareness of the dangers of discrimination in a divided world. A born leader, June has become the Co-Founder of WIE Network, an organisation which brings women together to speak upon inspiration and innovation. A pioneering influence on audiences worldwide, June has shared her powerful expertise in roles such as Director of Creative Diversity for the BBC to raise awareness on the importance of inclusivity and focuses on topics such as Windrush. When looking to empower audiences to tackle discrimination, June Sarpong is the perfect speaker for your event.
“The feedback we have received regarding June presenting has been outstanding – really fabulous to have her join us on site and everyone who attended said it was brilliant”–Jessica, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion, RS Components
Book a Windrush Day Speaker Today!
If you are interested in booking one of our talented Windrush Day speakers for 2024 events, get in touch with one of our dedicated booking agents by filling out our online contact form or by calling directly on 0203 9816 297.