BLM rally in Brixton earlier this year
BLM rally in Brixton earlier this year

Cllr Sonia Winifred is the Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture and a councillor in Knight’s Hill ward. 

On Thursday 19th November Lambeth hosted London’s first listening event on our audit and review of statues, monuments, and street names in Lambeth with links to slavery and colonialism. Our aim was to capture the views of the community and stakeholders on the findings of our audit. This was the first of a series of engagement meetings on the subject – more information on dates and timings for these meetings will be published soon. I was delighted that we were joined by a very large audience of 500 people online, who had the chance to submit questions and which were then answered by the panel. The consultation process includes an online portal with questions and answers, further information on the community engagement and consultation will be shared in our community magazine Lambeth Talk. It was a wonderful and positive start to this very important consultation.

The two guests supporting the event were:

Debbie Weekes-Bernard became Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement in November 2018.  Debbie works to improve Londoners’ life chances and to boost social integration and community voice across the Mayor’s programmes. She leads the promotion of equalities and active citizenship across London and makes sure City Hall actively seeks to tackle poverty for Londoners across all groups.

Dawn Hill, BCA Chairman since 2012, joined the Board of Trustees in 1981, working in the early years with Len Garrison, BCA founder. Dawn is an experienced management consultant with a background as a State Registered Nurse (SRN), a Diploma in Social Administration and Chartered MCIPD, working in industrial relations, organisation development and human resource management in the NHS, education and NGOs. She chaired the BCA HLF funded Archives & Museum Black Heritage (AMBH)

It is crucial that we engage as many residents, community groups, schools and private organisations/businesses in the debate itself and any decisions the council makes in future on new naming proposals. This needs to include key figures such as Olive Morris, Terrence Higgins (who was the first HIV+ person to die of the disease in Lambeth and whose name was so closely associated with the leading charity Terrence Higgins Trust), Mary Seacole and key locations and statues associated with events such as the Sharpeville massacre in apartheid-South Africa, among many others.

I very much look forward to continuing this process – and I am eager to hear the views and proposals for any changes from our residents and stakeholders.

Cllr Sonia Winifred

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