Trinity College marked Black History Month with a presentation from Dami Makinde, co-CEO of the charity We Belong on Friday 25 October.
Organised by Equalities Fellow María Blanco, Makinde spoke about her experience of living in the UK from the age of eight yet being subjected to countless problems related to her status as an immigrant, including the NHS health surcharge and her inability to access university funding because of her immigration status. In an echo of the treatment of Windrush-generation Britons being denied their rights as citizens despite living and paying taxes in a country they consider their home, Makinde has had to delay her path to university because of the financial requirements of renewing her Home Office status and her inability to access university loans.
Makinde now leads We Belong, an organisation whose aim is to ensure that ‘migrants living in the UK’ are ‘treated equally and fairly in the society they call home’. She has been involved in transforming the way we think about issues like health care, student finance, and the constant financial sacrifices, not to mention uncertainties, faced by young immigrants hoping to achieve permanent residence status in the UK.
The evening finished with a lively Q&A session with Dami at the end of her presentation. Students asked about the current costs of visa renewals incurred by young people, the relationships between immigrant children and their parents, as well as the different kinds of lobbying We Belong and other organisations are currently conducting to ameliorate a situation that could potentially worsen with Brexit.
Posted: 28 October 2019