Journey to Justice

Journey to Justice: Newham

Music and Freedom Project in partnership with Living Song  March and April 2018


The launch 

“It was a beautiful event. Top balance between speech and song, story and passion.”


Two days before the launch it seemed doomed by the weather. Our core exhibition was stranded in snowbound Newcastle and wouldn’t be there, the heating had failed in the youth centre sports hall and a key speaker, our patron Leyla Hussein, was stuck in the USA with flights to the UK cancelled. However, we had all put so much into creating a fantastic line up nothing was going to prevent us from going ahead. Read Martin Spafford’s scintillating account of the afternoon with Newham choirs and local stories of struggles for justice. It was a most uplifting, joyful start to our Music and Freedom Project and everyone enjoyed the show. The exhibition has arrived! On display until April 30th.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I was by the launch.. It was just right – as to both content and the hugely appealing character of all the singers and  speaker.. I was hugely inspired by the people and the stories and songs they communicated.  The whole event was so uplifting, so sincere, so persuasive.  A great, great success.”

“Today was another wonderful JtoJ event. Great to be part of such a wonderful celebration. Very heartwarming.”

“What a lovely event. I was mostly struck by how effortlessly it was such a representation of different ethnicity, class, gender and age. So warm and festive. It created so much curiosity for the exhibition, maybe it’s good people have to come back and give it proper time.”

The JtoJ travelling exhibition opens at Beckton Globe Library in Newham, east London (DLR Beckton) on Monday March 12th and launched on Saturday March 3rd to a packed audience. With a strong focus on music and Newham stories we explore what makes action for social justice succeed. There will be linked events and workshops at Newham venues during the two month run – details to follow soon.

Living Song CIC is an East London based company working locally and nationally to help young people shine and develop through musical activity, in particular singing and creative vocal work. We work with a wide team of highly skilled and experienced artists who are in turn supported by a diverse community of young apprentices offering a model of life long learning:

See a feature on JtoJ in the Newham Mag here

See us featured in the Newham Recorder here


theprogrammeFriday 9th March

International Women’s Day to celebrate women’s past, present and future.

Inspirational speakers representing our diverse community, art exhibition, choirs, performances, workshops for all ages and delicious refreshments.

FREE. All comers.

From 5pm @ Forest Gate Youth Action Zone,  1 Woodford Road,  Forest Gate,  London, E7 0DH


Sunday 18th March

OPEN MIC – Newham Night – Music and Freedom Hosted by Abena The Actress!


7-10 pm at Gerry’s, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford E15 1BN




Wednesday 21st March

A City of Unity? Performing arts students from NewVIc reflect on what ‘being united’ means, through art, dance and music.

Closed event for parents and friends of the students.

7.00pm @ NewVIc, Prince Regent Lane, London E13 8SGNewvic


Friday 23rd March

A night of Jazz with the Robert Mitchell Band, including reflections on social justice through Jazz music.

£10.oo per ticket

All comers

8pm and 9.45pm @ Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, E15 1BX




Monday 26th March

Journey to Justice Train the Trainers  – twilight

An opportunity to learn about the Journey to Justice approach to human rights education – inspiring action for social justice through stories, history& the arts – workshops, discussion, films& resources.

£15 including refreshments

5.00 – 8.00 pm @ St. John’s Church, Stratford Broadway E15 1NG


Wednesday 4th April 

50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we will also remember stories of Black and Asian British people who took a stand against racism and won.

In 1966, Asquith Xavier, a porter at Marylebone station, applied to be a guard at Euston and was rejected because of the ‘colour bar’ which was legal at the time. Hear his daughter Maria Xavier talk about how he challenged the authorities and see the plaque dedicated to him at Euston today.

In 1982 Goga Khan was one of the Newham 8, a group of young Asians whose case upheld the right of self defence and highlighted racism in the police force. When they appeared in court hundreds of Newham schoolchildren went on strike to join the pickets. Hear Goga tell the Newham 8 story.


6-8pm  Custom House and Canning Town Community Neighbourhood Centre and Library



Thurs 12th April   

Music and Freedom Sing-A-Long for Senior Citizens.


11 – 1pm @ Stratford Circus, Theatre Square E15 1BX


Wednesday 18th April

Newham Music and Kingsford School present: The Beckton Groove Choir and Special Guests 4pm at Beckton Globe Library  FREE.

All comers welcome   1 Kingsford Way, Beckton, E6 5JQ


Tuesday 24th April 

Open session with NewYVC for 10 – 18 year olds, singing songs of freedom and collaboration in song-writing, dedicated to human rights.


4.30 – 6.30pm @ Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, E125 1BX

Contact to confirm your child’s place.NewYVC


Thrusday April 26th

‘A Singers Tale’ with Carol Grimes “The Edith Piaf of British Music” (Camden Review)

£1 and £2

7 – 9pm @ Applecart Arts Applecart Arts, 170 Harold Road, London E13 0SE.

Please contact for further infoCarolGrimes


Saturday April 28th

A night of Jazz with the Timepiece Trio including reflections on social justice through Jazz music.

FREE  All comers

5.00 – 7pm @ Beckton Globe Library, Kingsford Rd, E6 5JQ



** Watch this space for details of further events. 


Local Newham stories told in the exhibition:

 Asquith Xavier, 1966  -   a London railway man who forced a change when refused a job at Euston station because he was Black

Ronan Point Disaster, 1968  the campaign for proper safety standards in tower blocks after a Newham disaster.

Powerhouse and Beverley Lewis House, 1991 - women with learning disabilities defending their rights.

Newham 8 and the Stardust Asian Youth Club, 1982-6  school students who took action against racist attacks and to protect their youth club

The Poor Man’s Lawyer, 1891        Newham at the forefront of the struggle for access to legal aid for working-class people

The Land Grabbers of Plaistow, 1906 the creation of a work camp on waste ground to protest against unemployment.

Thanks to Bethan Rigby, Ilona Aronovsky, Maria Xavier, Dev Barrah, Satnam Singh, Martin Spafford and Carrie Supple’s hard work researching less well known stories of community action for justice and human rights in Newham. You can download six of these stories, each with links to further information here

We can run free workshops for school groups on most days (not Mondays), geared to your needs: KS2, KS3, GCSE, A Level, History, Citizenship, RE, Social Studies, PSHCE.

For any of the above workshops – as well as details of a CPD session for teachers – contact Martin Spafford at It may also be possible to bring workshops to your school, though we would have to charge for these.

For linked singing workshops contact Jane Wheeler at

Don’t miss the launch of JtoJ Newham Music and Freedom Project, Saturday March 3rd at 3pm in the Hall, Beckton Globe Library. It’s free but booking is essential (max 4 tickets each). Please tell all your friends, family, colleagues and networks

You are welcome to bring a group without booking a workshop. Please tell the library in advance: (020 3373 0853) so they know numbers to expect.

Interested in volunteering for JtoJ Newham Music & Freedom Project? Click here to find out how or email for a form:

Rotunda exhibition opening times at Beckton Globe Library

Monday:  10.30 – 5.30 (Closed March 26th, 12-5pm)

Tuesday: 10.30 – 5.30 (Closed all day April 24th)

Wednesday: 10.30 – 19.30

Thursday 13.30 – 17.30

Friday & Saturday: 10.30-19.30 (Closed March 16th, 12-5pm)

Sunday: Closed

 We recommend you check whether the rotunda is open before making a special visit

Community groups and schools – please book in advance. 

Tel: 020 3373 0853

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