Each year, Goldsmiths’ Public Engagement Strategy Group invites academics to develop new projects to inspire the public.
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Researchers at all career stages are encouraged to make proposals for up to £1,000 of internal seed funding. With this, they can initiate projects and design events that spark curiosity and get the public involved with their work.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the New Cross Fire and Black People's Day of Action in 2021, the 2020/21 Public Engagement grants have been dedicated to foregrounding Black voices.
Academics at Goldsmiths are collaborating with community groups to organise a range of activities to engage the public with the history and the legacy of Black People's Day of Action.
Below, find out what the PESG look for when they're allocating funding and what an academic's application must include, as well as what projects are running and more about Black People's Day of Action.
Research led - Clear, strong connection to research, including practice research
Audience focus - Evidence that the activity is aimed at specific audience(s) / public(s)
Mutual benefit - Demonstrable benefits to audience/publics, researchers, research, partners and participants (as appropriate)
Innovation - Creative means of engaging audiences/publics
Quality - Evidence of thorough planning including specific aims, timings, a realistic budget, evaluation and opportunities for learning
Sustainability - The potential for ongoing benefits including research outputs, strengthened collaborations/partnerships, further public engagement
How to apply
Academics must submit an application form explaining and outlining key areas of the project, including:
- Research base
- Intended audiences
- Cultural/community partners
- Locations and venues
- Aims, evaluation and opportunities for reflection
- Benefit and sustainability
- Outline of costs and justification of resources
The Public Engagement Strategy Group reviews all submissions and decides which projects to allocate funding.
About Black People's Day of Action
2 March 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the historic ‘Black Peoples Day of Action’ when an estimated 15,000 people from all over the UK marched in solidarity with the victims of the New Cross Fire and their families.
Described as ‘the largest black demonstration’ in British history, the Black Peoples Day of Action march began in New Cross, filing past 439 New Cross Road, the site of the fire that led to the tragic deaths of 14 young people, towards Hyde Park via the Houses of Parliament and Fleet Street.
Organised by the New Cross Massacre Action Committee led by John La Rose and Darcus Howe, delegates delivered letters to then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Commissioner. According to organiser, John La Rose, the purpose of the demonstration was;
“To show the determination of the black population that they will not be killed, maimed or injured with impunity and that if the state would not protect its citizens then the black population and its allies in the country would.”
The reporting of the day’s events in The Sun newspaper was officially censured by then regulator the Press Council, who found that The Sun’s coverage was ‘damaging to good race relations’, the first ruling of its kind.
The above account is based on extracts from Longest Journey: A History of Black Lewisham, by Professor Joan Anim-Addo.
This year's projects (2020/21)
Remembering the Black People’s Day of Action: Oral History Workshops
Department of History (Dr Hannah Elias et al) and the George Padmore Institute
A series of oral history workshops focusing on remembering the New Cross Fire and Black People’s Day of Action aims to gather memories of lived experience and preserve them for future in collaboration with the George Padmore Institute (GPI) and Dr Rob Waters (QMUL).
Some recordings will form part of a free digital resource that can be used by teachers, students and researchers.
Voices from the Black People's Day of Action
Professor Les Back with Nacheal Catnott (True Colour Collective)
Based on community responses to 2017 exhibition 13 Dead Nothin Said, Les and Nacheal will collaborate on a film centring the voices of those who attended and remember the Black People’s Day of Action.
Black History in Lewisham: Exploring our local history in schools
Department of History (Dr Tara Povey et al) with Lewisham Schools, the Migration Museum and Layers of London
Following research by the Runnymede Trust which found that many school history teachers want to teach more black history, but lack the resources or training to do so with confidence, final year Goldsmiths history students will collaborate with local teachers in Lewisham schools to create learning packs and toolkits.
This will help to foster a forum for school age learners to engage with and learn about the Black People’s Day of Action and an exhibition – online or in person at Lewisham’s new Migration Museum – will also be created on local black history.
When We Were Young... Now We Are Young
Dr Kalbir Shukra with the Lewisham Young Mayor’s Programme
A series of workshops will create a space for intergenerational exchange to reflect on examples of black political activism in Lewisham up to the present day.
This project is guided by a steering group of young people and adults from the local community who have discussed how to remember both the New Cross Fire and Black People’s Day of Action, taking into account the challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions.
The steering group co-produced material for two workshops that the project team put together and piloted with Lewisham Young Advisors.
The first workshop will be available for delivery to groups by March. Goldsmiths students can deliver the workshop to the group online between March and June or provide support as well as a facilitator pack.
The workshop takes 1 to 1.5 hours and includes options for discussions throughout. A PowerPoint is supplied with optional embedded audio narration to guide people through the presentation, and there is an accompanying worksheet that is to be completed digitally or on paper.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a group that would be interested in the workshop.
New Cross Fire and Black People’s Day of Action: Stories for the collection
Dr Janna Graham and Dr Jorella Andrews with the Deptford People’s Heritage Museum
New Cross Tragedy
Dr Richard Shannon with Decolonising The Archive (DTA)
Three workshops will be held on writing for audio aimed at Lewisham’s black community. They will take place online and involve writing and production exercises.
The workshops will prepare participants to enter an open competition to write a 30 -minute audio piece for podcasting. One of the UK’s leading black writers, Roy Williams, will chair the judging panel.