We've Always Been Here: Histories of Migration to the UK & LEx Campaigning

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Learn strategies for justice and campaigning from our shared legacy of resistance.

About this Event

Join us for an in-depth exploration into the history and legacy of colonialism and  immigration to the UK, its intersections with racism, and how together we can build strategies for justice. A bold conversation with activist-academics Nadine El-Enany, Zita Holbourne, and Luke De Noronha.

Our speakers will be grounding us in the history of immigration to the UK, and charting its trajectory from European colonialism, through the Windrush generation, to present day practices of the Home Office. They will also be sharing all the ways in which migrant and refugee communities have historically challenged these policies, proving that ‘we have always been here’.

In addition to learning from our speakers, we hope that this will be an opportunity for us to learn from each other, connect and elevate our campaign and policy work, and grow a community that is rooted in our shared history and legacy of resistance.


Who can attend this event?

This is a free and closed event for members of the Lived Experience Leaders Movement (LEx Movement) with lived experience of the immigration system.

If you are a social leader, change-maker, activist, campaigner, artist, entrepreneur or innovator with

  • direct first-hand experience of the UK immigration system (e.g., refugee, asylum seeker and/or migrant) and/or
  • lived experience of racial injustice including, social leaders and activists with a shared migration history through their families working across a range of racial justice issues OR including, social leaders and activists with shared generational migration histories working across a range of racial justice issues

and would like to attend but are not yet a member of the LEx Movement – please don’t worry. We welcome you to join our community and you are welcome to reserve a ticket for this event. Once you do so and have confirmed your eligibility for attendance, we will be in touch inviting you to join the Movement.

Please note, this event is open to social leaders who are activating their direct lived experience (past or present) to inform and shape their work to directly benefit the communities they share those experiences with. E.g., migrant and refugee leaders supporting migrant and refugee communities. This does not include practitioners and allies without lived experience who are working in the immigration system (we consider this practice experience and not ‘lived’ experience).

Do you need access support to attend?

An access fund is available to support LEx Movement Members in taking part, and so if you require language interpretation, childcare, PA support, technology access, or anything else that will allow you to attend this online event, please do email us at LExMovement@knowledgeequity.org.

As with all the programmes our LEx leaders have been developing for our network, this event is free.


Event Schedule

  • 5.30pm – Introduction & Welcome
  • 5.35pm – Nadine El-Enany on colonialism and immigration to the UK
  • 5.55pm - Zita Holbourne on post-Windrush migrant organising
  • 6.15pm – Luke De Noronha on deportations and injustices in the immigration system today
  • 6.35pm – Q&A with speakers
  • 7.00pm – End


Who will be speaking?

Nadine El-Enany teaches and researches at Birkbeck Law School and is co-director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law. She is author of ‘(B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire’ (Manchester University Press, 2020).

Zita Holbourne is an award winning, trade union, community & human rights campaigner and activist, an author, visual artist, curator, poet, vocalist and writer. She is the Co-Founder and National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, and a founding member of Movement Against Xenophobia, BME Lawyers for Grenfell, and BAME Lawyers for Justice - and has played a leading role in campaigning against the Windrush scandal.

Luke De Noronha is an academic and writer working at the University of Manchester. He is the author of 'Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of Deportation to Jamaica’, and producer of the podcast Deportation Discs. He lives in London. He is on Twitter @LukeEdeNoronha


What is the LEx Movement?

The Lived Experience Leaders Movement (LEx Movement), is a collective impact network connecting, supporting and strengthening the capacity of LEx Leaders to create systems-level change and help all our communities thrive. LEx Movement now has over 880 members and has become a vibrant, resilient, and culturally diverse community made up of individuals, organisations and coalitions working across the UK. It is fast evolving into a movement of movements. LEx Movement is hosted and supported by the Centre for Knowledge Equity.

If you would like to learn about the history behind the LEx Movement and the reason why we developed the Lived Experience Leadership framework, please do read these reports here: 'The Value of Lived Experience in Social Change' (2017) and 'Lived Experience Leadership: Rebooting the DNA of Leadership' (2019)

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