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An event is being held by the University of Leicester this week, to acknowledge the contributions of the city’s Caribbean community.

The African Caribbean population of Leicester were among the earliest arrivals to the city from the Commonwealth in the 1950s and 1960s.

Picture: University of Leicester

The speakers at the event on Thursday, September 22, will include Dr Margaret Byron, Associate Professor in Human Geography and Dr Paul Campbell, Director of the Institute for Inclusivity in Higher Education, both at the University of Leicester.

Also speaking at the event, which will take place at the Highfields Centre, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, will be Iris Lightfoote, CEO of the Leicester Race Equality Centre.

The speakers will reflect on the challenge of overcoming racism in Leicester and the ways that Caribbean communities have made a distinctive contribution to the city.

The organisers welcome contributions from audience members, especially those who came from the Caribbean or whose families did so.

Dr Margaret Byron said: “During the decades after WW2, Leicester’s buoyant and expanding industries – in particular the textile and engineering industrial sectors – experienced labour shortages.

“These labour needs in cities such as Leicester, coincided with the return to Britain of demobbed Caribbean ex-servicemen, disillusioned with the lack of employment opportunities in their home islands.

“The British nationality Act of 1948 conferred the right to enter, live and work in Britain on citizens of the British colonies and the Commonwealth.

“Early pioneer migrants from the Commonwealth Caribbean were soon followed by relatives and friends in a classic example of chain migration.

“Leicester’s Caribbean-born community grew from 59 in 1951 to more than 2500 in the early 1980s when a survey of Leicester’s Minority communities was undertaken by the City Council.

“Predominant in this population were migrants from Antigua, St Kitts/Nevis and Jamaica but Barbados, St Vincent and Montserrat are also represented in the present day Leicester Caribbean community.”

The event is part of the University of Leicester’s Migration and the Making of Leicester series organised by its Migration, Mobility and Citizenship Network, and the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement.

For more information, or to register for the event, visit: