Do You Know Who the Black Movers and Shakers Were That Helped to Make Britain Great?
Nubian Jak Community Trust is an unfunded charity and the largest diversity plaques and statues scheme in the world. It is approved by English Heritage and endorsed by the Runnymede Trust as a ‘Real Histories’ provider. The trust has delivered several high profiled events in partnership with Westminster Borough Council, including installing what is considered to be Britain’s highest profiled commemorative plaque - Ignatius Sancho - on Her Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall. The trust promotes diversity and inclusion for public benefit by the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race, advancing education, raising awareness, and providing activities to foster appreciation between people from diverse backgrounds - most of whom have been omitted from historic recognition. Through donations and sponsorship we have delivered 60 plaques and 1 statue in the UK.
In June 2017, the Trust organized the installation of Britain’s first national memorial to commemorate military personnel from Africa and the Caribbean who served alongside Great Britain and its Allies during both World Wars. The monument was publically endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen, and unveiled by Sir Michael Fallon on 22nd June. The unveiling of the memorial received national media coverage, including to date, over 8 million views on YouTube.
In August 2018, the trust created the Notting Hill Carnival Plaque - the largest commemorative plaque in the world! In October 2019, we installed a plaque in memory of Septimius Severus, the African Roman Emperor, who reigned in the 3rd century - 193 - 211, and commanded a regiment of Afrikan soldiers at Hadrian’s Wall; to guard and protect the region from the invading Celts of northern Britain.
The story of people from the Caribbean and Africa who struggle to overcome racism in Britain is one of courage, commitment, tenacity, and achievement, in the face of incomprehensible circumstances. Great Britain as a whole has achieved great progress and extraordinary developments as a result of their contribution; and this is why plaques and statues honouring them is so imperative; they provide a permanent reminder of their significant legacy.
June 2021 - May 2022
- 2021 is the International Year of Nurses & Midwives. We are doing a STATUE & ANTHOLOGY DEDICATED TO ALL THE WINDRUSH & COMMONWEALTH NURSES & MIDWIVES who have worked before the creation of the NHS on 5th July 1948, and after its launch; in recognition of the service and sacrifices made by these women. It is only the third memorial dedicated to a black female in a public space in London. Around 40,000 nurses and midwives from around the Commonwealth came to the UK to help the then fledging NHS which was facing problems recruiting enough staff. The dedication and service of these nurses has been exemplary; it is said that without their contribution, the NHS would have collapsed. In honour of the lives saved by NHS staff and the role the NHS plays in British life, the NHS is regarded as the single greatest achievement in the UK in modern times, and African and Caribbean nurses are the founding workforce of it’s greatness.
We chose NHS Day 5th July 2021 to recognise and celebrate their mettle, resolve, and humanity on a day of national appreciation. As well as the statue being a fitting tribute to medical practitioners, nurses, midwives, and ward sisters, it is also a tribute to the behind the scenes generic workers that allow NHS hospitals to operate - auxillary staff, cooks, cleaners, laundry assistants, and personal patient carers.
“Since it’s inception in 1948 the NHS has been completely dependent on people from all over the world to help run the health service, especially it’s hospitals. Nurses from the Caribbean, and Africa have been at the forefront of patient care for decades.” Royal College of Nursing
- BLUE PLAQUES TO UN-RECOGNISED AFRICAN & CARIBBEAN MOVERS & SHAKERS that inspired culture, politics, social services, and health, among very many others from the 15th to 21st centuries.
FROM BLACK TO BLUE
With the support of Havas Agency and JC Deceaux, we are bringing to light 30 unrecognised achievers, contributors, and influencers with temporary Black plaques which will become permanent Blue plaques. Look out for our posters on billboards across London, Brixton Underground, Waterloo Station, and Westfield Shopping Centres, among other places.
HELP US INSTALL THE WINDRUSH & COMMONWEALTH NHS NURSES & MIDWIVES STATUE & PUBLISH THE 'NURSING A NATION' BOOK
The cost of installing the statue and publishing the book is £134,000; and through kind support and sponsorship so far, we have raise just over half the amount we need - £69,000! There is £65,000 remaining to make this unique initiative an everlasting legacy of personal stories and British history.
The nurses monument is 7ft high by 7ft wide, made of blue, brown, and white granite; and will be unveiled on Monday 5 July, NHS Day, this year. The unveiling event is being planned in close collaboration with the Whittington Hospital and Islington Borough Council.
Why Whittington Hospital?
In the same year as the foundation of the NHS, the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board collectively became known as Whittington Hospital. It has a history of employing African and Caribbean nursing staff since it's inception; and is currently the most diverse and inclusive employer in our health service. The borough of Islington is a prominent area of London, and was home to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman in Britain to qualify as a physician and surgeon, and co-founder of one of the first hospitals staffed by women.
Over the last 73 years a number of important contributions have been made by Black and minority nurses and midwives working at the hospital, and this was recognized by a special NHS Windrush Awards ceremony in 2018. Among the winners was veteran nurse Comfort Offorjindu, who was the recipient of the NHS Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to Whittington Hospital.
The statue will generate a sense of local, national and Commonwealth pride, in that it is also the first statue on the British Isles specifically dedicated to the 70th anniversary of NHS’s foundation. It will come to be seen as a heritage site within the borough and a tourist attraction for the area. As well as an attractive piece of art, it will be visited by schools and educational groups interested in looking at some of the Commonwealth contributions to Britain’s infrastructure. The statue will serve as an inspiration to all communities and highlight Britain’s common cultural heritage.
The 'Nursing a Nation' Anthology
The book will be launched at a venue in Islington on Saturday 10th July; and Nubian Jak Community Trust is collaborating with Islington Council, Islington Black History Working Group, and other partners to deliver workshops, and teaching resources for teachers; storytelling sessions, events at libraries with writers/contributors to the anthology, and provide copies of the book in all libraries across the borough.
Did You Know? In the Magic Year 1948...
- The MV Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Dock with over 500 passengers from countries in the Caribbean
- The NHS was formed
- The North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board became the Whittington Hospital
- The Summer Olympic Games was held in London
- Post-war bread rationing came to an end
- The first Caribbean immigrants were housed in an air raid shelter in Clapham South London
- The UK government nationalized the railway industry and created British Railways
- The first new comprehensive schools opened in Potters Bar and Hillingdon
- Caribbean immigrants found work through the Labour Exchange in Brixton, and launched Brixton as one of the most racially diverse areas in the UK
- The Manchester Baby, the world's first electronic stored-program computer, ran its first program
- Jamaica won it's first Olympic Gold Medal in track & field - Arthur Wint in the 400m
- John Derry became the first British pilot to break the sound barrier in the de Havilland DH 108 Swallow aircraft
- The government nationalised the gas industry and gas boards were created
- First African-American man received an Oscar: James Baskett - Honorary Academy Award for his portrayal of "Uncle Remus" in Song of the South
- The Children Act 1948 came into effect
- The UN established the World Health Organization
- The UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Ghanian scientist Dr Raphael Armattoe was runner-up for the Nobel prize in physiology
- The LP was made of vinyl and played at 33 rpm
- Apartheid began in South Africa