Looking Back : Moving Forward – National Family Fund event report

Attendees at Looking Back-Moving Forward event 2021source: National Memorial Family Fund
published: 20 September 2021

This event took place on 10 September 2021 marking the 18th anniversary of the death of Mikey Powell in West Midlands police custody, and celebrated 6 years of the National Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund developed by his cousin, Tippa Naphtali, in September 2015. 

See the image gallery here >

The event opened with an appreciation to Mikey’s mother, Clarissa Powell, who attended with many members of her extended family. A short tribute film to Mikey’s legacy was released shortly before the event. See it here >

The audience were also informed about the numerous campaign groups, community initiatives and organisations that have been developed over the last 15+ years as a legacy to Mikey Powell. See full details here >

The event also heard from several affected families that have been recipients of grants from the National Memorial Family Fund. They spoke of the heartache and struggles after losing their loved ones, and how the fund had helped to alleviate some of the after effects of such truly traumatic loss with support for funerals, memorials, respite & family breaks, counselling services, domestic costs and much more.

The event also included the premier screening Migrant Media’s new film ULTRAVIOLENCE, a hard-hitting and extremely emotive film following the experiences of people whose loved ones had died or been killed at the hands of the state. Since 1969, over 2,000 people have died at the hands of the police in the UK. Shootings, chokeholds, batons, gassing, suffocation, restraint and brutal beatings are some of the methods used. In this documentary, the families of the victims of police violence demand justice. They ask why society ignores human rights abuses by agents of the state.

There was a short but effective Q&A on issues that were raised in the film with panel members including, Ken Fero (ULTRAVIOLENCE Filmmaker), Sieta Lambrias (sister of Mikey Powell), Simon Foster (West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner), Beresford Dawkins (Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust) and Dr David Baker (Criminologist/Author- Liverpool University). There was the notable absence of representatives from the Independent Office for Police Conduct!

There some powerful and riveting live performances from:

Joe Cook – Musician, lyricist, music producer and spoken word artist. He has appeared on various BBC platforms such as 1Xtra and the Asian Network, using music and art as a tool for social change.

The Negusa Drummers – A traditional Rastafarian percussion & drumming and chanting troupe made up of the trio – Ras Tread, Jaja Joseph and Teacher. They are well-known in West Midlands African, Caribbean, and other communities over many years.

Paul Grey – Artist, musician and lived experience survivor. His music follows his journey from the mental health system. 30 years on, his mission is to inspire encourage and educate others.

This fundraising event was delivered in association with 4WardEverUK and Migrant Media, and was also supported by Catalyst 4 Change CIC and The Birmingham Irish Association.

Family Fund LogoThe National Memorial Family Fund – Ambitious plans for the future!

Earlier this year the National Family Fund unveiled some ambitious plans for the future. It is hoped that the new initiatives will be rolled out over the next 3 to 5 years.

Support will also be provided by 4WardEverUK, Catalyst 4 Change CIC, Birmingham Irish Association, Migrant Media and the United Families & friends Campaign and others. Read full details here >