Added: (Sat Apr 06 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The prestigious WINDRUSH 2002 ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS are now underway. A black tie event, to be held at the Dorchester Hotel on Thursday 21 June, the unique Awards recognise the vast wealth of talent among African Caribbean and Asian communities as demonstrated by the pioneers, high flyers and stars of tomorrow who are making an impact in various occupations throughout the country.

Founder Elaine Sihera introduced the Windrush Awards to celebrate the contribution of visible minority groups to the social, economic and cultural life of the UK, as well as to cement partnerships with the White mainstream in order to encourage minority inclusion, harmony and mutual respect. It is now regarded as the celebration of the year for all visible minority communities, not just for one section, race or group.

Each year Education, the Media, Technology, Small Business, Community, Public and the Uniformed Services are especially targeted to increase minority representation within those fields. Another special Category has been added this year, Minority Graduate of the Year, which aims to recognise outstanding newcomers, both male and female. However, anyone can enter, regardless of occupation, because it is mainly about identifying Black and Asian role models at the most significant levels.

The Media awards are meant for mainstream print, radio and television media which have consistently portrayed minorities in a more positive light since January 2001 as well as minority editors who are making an impact. These media Awards are designed to reduce the negativity and sparseness of visible minority representation in the mainstream press and to encourage editors and producers to see inclusiveness as routine instead of additional or extraordinary.

Elaine, a publisher and pioneer businesswoman, is the managing director of AnSer House of Marlow UK, editor of New IMPACT Journal and author of the recent ‘managing the diversity maze’. Her aim is to ensure more visible minority recognition in the UK, while simultaneously celebrating the legacy of the arrival of Empire Windrush to British shores 54 years ago. Elaine’s priority is “to foster national pride in being Black or Asian’; to get rid of ‘victimhood’; to help ‘overcome the invisibility of being a minority in a majority society and to celebrate an inclusive spirit of partnership in an atmosphere of mutual respect and professional worth”. This is done through a special Windrush Community Partnership Tribute Award for mainstream organisations which have assisted the progress of minorities, either financially, through training or in-kind support.

A high achiever herself with some significant firsts to her credit, Elaine has a clear vision of the timing and usefulness of these Awards. “Minorities are still invisible on the positive state occasions (How many Black people have been seen since the Queen Mother died, for example?) while being highly visible when they are being criminalised. Their contribution to British society, in both spending power and helping to build the economy, is rarely recognised, especially for African Caribbeans. The Windrush Achievement Awards thus strike a good balance.
“On one hand, they give minorities more visibility and a greater sense of worth while helping to create greater recruitment opportunities through much needed role models.
On the other hand, they also recognise White-led organisations which have unstintingly assisted the growth of minority groups. Often it is too easy to overlook their part in visible minority progress. The Windrush Achievement Awards not only afford a new perspective, they are also a positive force for minority recognition and a diverse partnership with the rest of the community.
Elaine added, “There have been some fantastic winners of the last three Awards and I am hoping many more will come forward over the next few weeks to be publicly recognised for their individual achievements.”

The 2002 Awards are sponsored by the Teacher Training Agency, the Metropolitan Police, DTi’s Business Link, Black Britain Online and New IMPACT Journal. There are 36 judges nationally, including 24 African-Caribbean and Asian high flyers who are already making an impact in their own fields. Elaine will be the Adjudicator.

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1. Our website www.anserhouse.co.uk also has other essential information. The Awards were launched in 1999, inspired by the BBC’s special celebration of the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush and the first West Indian immigrants to Britain. The annual awards celebrate the legacy of those first pioneers. There are 15 categories including Newsmaker of the Year, Music Achiever and the Windrush Fellowship of which Des’ree, Lord Ouseley and Lord Dholakia are past Fellows.

2. For other information on NEW IMPACT, any other item associated with AnSer House of Marlow UK, or for interviews with Elaine, contact Jazmi Herbert,PR executive, or Elaine herself on 01628 475570 (elaine@anserhouse.co.uk).

3. Photographs of past winners or Elaine are availabe from Jazmi or the website (www.anserhouse.co.uk/events).

4. For other comments, particularly from Sponsors on why they have supported this significant event, please contact the following:
Alf Brown Teacher Training Agency 0207 925 3700 (Education Awards)
Danny Chapman Business link 0207 938 7012 (Small Business Awards)
DCI Tony Bennett Metropolitan Police 0207 230 1212 (Uniformed Services)
Kofi Kusitor Black Britain Online 0207 498 5656 (Internet & Technology)

5. Confirmed Presenters: Lord Navnit Dholakia, President, Liberal Democrats; Ralph Tabberer, Chief Executive, Teacher Training Agency; Sir John Stevens, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police; Lord Herman Ouseley; Kofi Kusitor, Managing Director, Black Britain Online and Elaine Sihera. In line with past events there will also be strong representation from the Government and a variety of minority celebrities and high achievers.

6. The New IMPACT Journal has promoted the term ‘visible minority’ in preference to ‘ethnic minority’ which is regarded as pejorative and marginal, especially as everyone belongs to an ethnic group.

7. Entry forms are available from AnSer House of Marlow UK (Fax/Phone 01628 475570 or email: windrush@anserhouse.co.uk)

AnSer House of Marlow UK
Courtyard Offices
3 High Street
Buckinghamshire SL7 1AX
+44 01628 481581
FAX +44 01628 475570

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DIARY DATES: (1) The 4th annual Windrush Achievement Awards 2002 for outstanding contributions by visible minorities to UK society. Friday June 21, Dorchester Hotel. Gala Dinner, Black tie event.

(2) The 8th annual British Diversity Awards to recognise best practice nationwide. Friday 22 November 2002. The Royal Lancaster Hotel. Gala dinner, Black tie event.

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