Journey to Justice

Journey to Justice: Hull

In 2015 JtoJ began to discuss bringing the travelling exhibition to Hull in partnership with the University of Hull American Studies programme and WISE (Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation). ‘Freedom is a platform for people to create, debate, reflect and re-imagine. Hull has always attracted creative risk takers and rule breakers. It is a place that seems to inspire rebellion and freedom of thought, not bound by the conventions of others’ (quoted on  We hope one day to work with community groups and organisations and there is interest from the William Wilberforce Monument Fund who continue to work to raise awareness of the Wilberforce legacy through initiatives that invite individuals to re-examine the concept of freedom and equality (see their African Stories Project:  Carrie Supple and Martin Spafford (JtoJ trustee) ran a taster day there on 18th November 2016 in partnership with WISE and University of Hull American Studies staff to attract interest and involvement, which went very well.

It was fulfilling to see a number of different people ranging from academics, youth workers, staff from various arts and cultural organisations, students, and many more in between gathered together for the Journey to Justice taster day in Hull. All involved were given an overview of the project including case studies of other exhibitions in Sheffield and London, and offered some ideas of the Hull stories which the exhibition could include. Hopefully the engaging debate which took place at the event can be taken as a basis for bringing Journey to Justice to Hull as the city definitely would benefit from the exhibition. As the taster day made clear, Hull has both the underrepresented historical stories and contemporary marginalised communities where Journey to Justice could really make a positive difference. I look forward to attending future events regarding this exciting project!
(Sam North, PhD student)

We asked:  Was there an aspect of the session which inspired you or was most memorable? 

“The passion of the people who attended”; “The films were great”; “The slideshow by JtoJ”; “Good cross section of people with interesting ideas about the local area”; “Starting point for longer process”; “All – I loved the stories and the passion”; “Headscarf Revolutionaries”; ; “Lil Bilocca and Ruby – personal stories”; “Historical stories, locally and in the USA and how these stories resonate still today with current political environment.”

View the days programme here

Lillian Bilocca, the Hull woman who battled to improve safety for workers at North Atlantic fisheries.

Lillian Bilocca, the Hull woman who battled to improve safety for workers at North Atlantic fisheries. 

Forum for Justice
Sunday April 2nd 2017 evening
At Cottingham Road Baptist Church, Hull

Mark Hutchinson (then JtoJ trustee) was part of a panel addressing current social (in)justice issues and their links to the past. He was joined by:

Ruth Dearnley OBE, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK and Reverend Dr Devon Dick, President of the Jamaica Baptist Union and a Justice of the Peace.  They made reference to the anniversaries of three eminent campaigners to help frame the discussion:

  • 500 years since Martin Luther published his thesis “on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” and getting behind his motivation to expose the injustice of the indulgencies system was broadened out to institutional injustice of today, and not just well known large-scale cases, but also how we can recognise and confront issues that may be in our work places, sports clubs, places of worship or schools which can be both explicit and implicit, embedded through cultures, histories and blindness.
  • 230 years since William Wilberforce started campaigning against the colonial slave trade. The meeting was challenged to realise this is not a job done, but its effects are ongoing.   Trafficking and slavery are still happening, affecting millions of people. What are the trafficking routes today and how does this impact Hull and us?  Do we turn a blind eye or become part of the solution?
  • 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr was given the freedom of the city of Newcastle,  we need to hear again the challenge he laid down then that social injustice is not just a concern for the USA, but is a live issue for the UK. In what ways has the Brexit vote, or the refugee/asylum seeker issue around the world and in this country, highlighted live concerns within Hull?  Which prejudices are live and active and causing injustice in Hull that need addressing?

It was a challenging, informative and lively discussion and we hope J to have attracted new members of JtoJ Hull.ForumforJustice