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Jamaican Independence Day 2020

A special celebration this year, in memory of Windrush campaigner, Paulette Wilson.

Ahead of Jamaican Independence Day, at the Refugee and Migrant Centre (Black Country and Birmingham), we held a special celebration in memory of Paulette Wilson, Windrush campaigner and a close friend of the charity. Each year, RMC celebrates Jamaican Independence day having strong links with the community from our staff/volunteer team, as well as being heavily involved in the Windrush cases of recent times.  

MiFriendly Cities co-ordinator Ray organised the event, with the support of OISC lead Dan who worked closely with Paulette on her case as part of the Windrush scandal.  

In an opening speech, Dan spoke of the importance of the Jamaican culture to Paulette and her trip back to Jamaica following her successfully securing the status she was entitled to. The power of the simple things such as walking the roads she grew up on and how much this experience filled her with joy.  

Dan (left) and Jim (right) speaking at the event

Jim, who represented Paulette spoke of her as a warrior, not a victim. Highlighting her strength and how much she gave to others. He spoke highly of the importance of her case, breaking down the barrier for countless others like her to get the status they were entitled to.   

Finally, Ray spoke of his own past, introducing other people’s journeys, with others sharing their own history and stories.

As Jamaicans who live abroad it is very important to celebrate the contributions of  Jamaicans to the world, especially in the UK context.  Jamaicans are working in almost every sector in the UK. Jamaica’s Independence Day gives us as Jamaicans the opportunity to reflect on the culture and heritage which help to shape us as people of great worth, outstanding gifts and talents.

Ray – Mifriendly Cities Project Co-ordinator at RMC

All our thoughts are with Paulette’s family. We will continue to support and fight for justice for the Windrush generation.

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