University holds series of public events to mark Leicester’s migration history

The University of Leicester is working in conjunction with partners to hold five public events on the recent history of migration to the city.

The events mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Ugandan Asians to Leicester. 

The series will commence on September 15 (Thursday) with a lecture, Migration and the Making of Leicester: Fifty years on from the Ugandan Asians’ arrival.

Other events will focus on Caribbean migration to Leicester, the Leicester Somali community, and Narborough Road which has been called ‘the most diverse street in Britain’. 

A final event, co-organised with Navrang Arts, will explore the Ugandan Asian story, with a focus on settlement in Leicester. 

Each event will include contributions by experts and prominent members of the Leicester communities concerned. 

The series has been organised by University of Leicester’s Migration, Mobility and Citizenship Network, and by its Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE). 

The events are being supported by Highfields Centre, Leicester City Council, Leicester Museums and Navrang Arts. 

Details for each of the events are:

Migration and the Making of Leicester: Fifty years on from the Ugandan Asians’ arrival – launch event, Thursday September 15, Peter Williams lecture theatre, University of Leicester main campus (6-7.30pm). Speakers: Peter Soulsby and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 

Caribbean migration to Leicester - Thursday September 22, Highfields Centre, 96 Melbourne Rd, Leicester LE2 0DS (5.30pm, for two hours).  

The Leicester Somali community - Thursday October 13, St Matthews Centre, 10 Malabar Road, Leicester, LE1 2PD (5.30pm, for two hours).  

Narborough Road - The most diverse street in Britain? Thursday October 20, Westcotes Library, 38-40 Narborough Road, LE3 0BQ (5.30pm, for two hours) 

From Expulsion to Settlement: The Ugandan Asians Story Saturday October 29, Leicester Museum, 53 New Walk LE1 7EA date (11am–3pm). Organised jointly with Navrang Arts.

John Williams from the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) at University of Leicester said: “Fifty years ago, Leicester muddled along as a pretty nondescript, and rather tired, East Midlands city. Few people from outside knew little about the place and its people. 

“But then we had this forced injection of a group of talented and educated new arrivals from a completely different cultural background and Leicester was suddenly sparked into life.

“Migration and the Making of Leicester tells the story of the city’s revival from 1972 and how Leicester has since become home to a range of different migrant communities who help make it the thriving and successful multi-cultural place it remains today.”

Professor Bernard Ryan, the chair of the Migration Mobility and Citizenship network at the University of Leicester, said: “The arrival of Ugandan Asians in 1972 was a pivotal moment in Leicester’s recent history. 

“Despite the city council’s initial opposition, many Ugandan Asians established themselves here, and helped Leicester acquire its reputation as a successful multicultural city. 

“To mark the 50th anniversary, we are delighted to have organised Migration and the Making of Leicester. 

“This series of five public events will cover the Ugandan Asian experience, and that of many other communities who have settled in Leicester since the 1950s.”

For further information on the events and to register visit the Eventbrite website