Journey to Justice

Footsteps to Freedom in the North East


BBC Look North: Newcastle Launch

Local news item to promote the Footsteps to Freedom exhibition in Newcastle.

Ifi Archibong becomes Chair of JtoJ Newcastle

Many thanks to Jason Hussein outgoing Chair of JtoJ Newcastle for your dedication and support since 2015. And welcome to incoming Chair of the group Ifi Archibong who is already an active and enthusiastic member.

Journey to Justice Newcastle Women’s 100

Journey to Justice Newcastle is supporting a collective of events called ‘The Women’s 100: a century of women’s activism in Newcastle’ taking place from 8th February – 6th March 2018. The events celebrate the centenary of The Representation of the People Act which began the process of women’s suffrage.

Our March to Justice and Success: An empowering panel discussion
This discussion aims to encourage women and men of all ages and backgrounds through the journeys of three high profile women.


Uduak_ArchibongUduak Archibong MBE is Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford where she directs the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity and provides strategic oversight for equality, diversity and inclusion across the institution. Uduak has been recognised by the British Government and the Queen for her services to Higher Education and Equality. She was awarded MBE [Member of the Order of the British Empire] in the 2015 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Penny_MarshallPenny Marshall is the Northeast Regional Director for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Penny, a Civil Engineering graduate, spent a brief period as a high school mathematics teacher before embarking on her engineering career, working in both design and site roles with a number of North East local authorities. She later moved to what was then the Department of Transport Northern Regional Office and spent almost 20 years in the civil service.

CrisMcCurleyCris McCurley is head of International Family Law and a Partner of Ben Hoare Bell LLP (Solicitors.) Cris has specialist knowledge of Gender Equality , Domestic Violence, Honour Based Violence (H.B.V.), Forced Marriage (F.M.), abduction, trafficking, FGM and 21st century slavery. A multi-award winner, Cris chaired a UN Special Rapporteur for VAW (Violence Against Women) in 2014.

Our event will take place at the prestigious Mining Institute in Newcastle upon Tyne on 26th February 2018, Westgate Road, NE1 1SE with networking from 5:30pm and prompt start at 6pm.

If you would like to reserve a place please contact Mrs Ashleigh King at

Thank you and farewell Archie Sibeko


Newcastle Journey to Justice member Keith Hodgson pays tribute to Archie Sibeko, who died aged 90 in 2018. Archie was a remarkable man; a South African trade union leader and a major figure in the struggle against apartheid.

He was JtoJ’s keynote speaker on April 4th 2015 at the launch of the JtoJ exhibition programme in Newcastle and spoke movingly about the power of young people’s presence that day and their potential for our future together. Read Keith’s full text here

See our short film about JtoJ in the NE including an interview with Archie:

(filmed by Hugh Kelly, edited by Professor Steve Hawley)


In her Footsteps: A Photographic Exhibition

Journey to Justice hosted an exhibition curated by Esther Freeman and SHAREUK ( celebrating 150 years of women from all walks of life who have campaigned to make the world a better place.

This empowering exhibition celebrates all these unsung heroes and activists giving them their proper place in history.

The exhibition launch wwas held on 6th March 2018, 5.30pm and was on display thereafter until 31st March 2018 at Arch Sixteen, High Level Parade, Wellington Street, Gateshead NE8 2AJ.


JtoJ Newcastle workshop at IDC (International Development Conference) for Freedom City

Led by Keith Hodgson, JtoJ Newcastle steering group member and retired Regional Education Officer for UNISON, Northern Region

Newcastle University February 18th 2017

Following really positive feedback to JtoJ Newcastle team’s successful workshop at the IDC conference in 2016 we were invited to run another this year by Kay Hattam, Campaigns and Democracy Support Worker at the Students’ Union and Libby Blythe, conference organiser.

2017 is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s honorary degree and visit to Newcastle. Newcastle University is part of a city-wide programme, Freedom City 2017, to commemorate the visit and the Students’ Union, led by the International Development Society, hosted a conference to demonstrate why the issues raised in Dr King’s speech fifty years ago are still relevant today. There was a mix of workshops, a panel and speakers including Dr Kehinde Andrews; Professor David Bailin ; Dr Silvia Pasquetti; Muzoon al-Mellehan and Dr Megan Armstrong with Chi Onwurah MP providing an opening welcome.

The aim was to create a forum to address contemporary issues in development, challenge perceptions, stimulate debate and facilitate reflection in the context of the EU referendum and Donald Trump’s election.  

23 students attended the lively workshop. Keith introduced them to the work of JtoJ and our 2015 pilot in Newcastle.  He asked them for additions to MLK’s speech about war, poverty and racism and participants identified social justice issues they feel strongly about. They said: Climate change; Globalisation; Refugees – mentioned by many; Migration – global and long term issue; Corruption; Girls’ education; Disability rights; Mental health issues; Inequality; Environmental protection; Exploitation of workers by multinational corporations; Youth unemployment; Patriarchy; Xenophobia; LGBT issues; Healthcare concerns; Human trafficking; Arms trade; Child labour; Mass incarceration in various countries; Education; Economic inequality.

When asked to choose one issue and come up with a creative suggestion for action they said:

1. Political education especially with children using humour – youth engagement.
2. Education in prisons using You Tube to tell their stories.
3. Developing a “global village campaign” to highlight refugee issue.
4. Mental health – raising the issue using street theatre to educate others.
5. Climate change – getting young people to make short film clips using their videos.

“It was a real pleasure to meet a range of young people committed to social justice at a brilliant conference in the very hall where Martin Luther King spoke 50 years ago.” Keith Hodgson

11 people from the workshop signed up to stay in touch with Journey to Justice.  We will feed all the ideas into our training programme. If you would like more information about our work in the North East (Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough) or nationally please email:

For more information about Freedom City:


Read the evaluation of our North East pilot by Nicola Bell

JtoJ zine produced by young people in Newcastle 


Theresa Easton: printmaker and Chair of Artists Union England led young JtoJ volunteers and members of Children North East through a zine-making workshop as part of our pilot programme.

Using powerful images and messages taken from JtoJ’s travelling exhibition and international human rights movements, Theresa taught the group to use techniques they needed to produce their own glorious zine. You can take a look inside and turn the pages by downloading the zine here. (It should open automatically for you, but if you have any problems launch it through Acrobat reader)

With thanks to: Theresa Easton, Alex Henry, Nicola Bell, Bethany Elen Coyle, Emily Needle and Children North East

JtoJ NE Action Day Sunday 26th July: See flyer below


JtoJ in the North East: Action Day, July 26th 2015

The 20 attendees split into buzz groups to discuss topics they felt were important to them. This was crucial, as it demonstrates how Journey to Justice listens to its members, invites their opinion and takes all of us seriously. To resort to cliche, too many organisations “talk the talk”, but Journey to Justice ” walks the walk”.

Subjects were diverse – BME rights, women’s rights, ageing well, health and wellbeing, welfare rights. This reflects the breadth of contributors’ interests; as discussion deepened, it became increasingly evident how engaged people were with each other. Those who gathered were giving up a summer Sunday afternoon, so all were committed to the cause of social justice.

However, discussions were not solemn, and were enlivened by much laughter and good humour.

We agreed to forge partnerships with like-minded organisations, for instance, the local Amnesty International branch, feeling that there is strength in solidarity.

We appreciated the opportunity to make a difference, to be part of a grassroots organisation and to work as a group, while still having our individual voices heard.

BBC Look North: Newcastle Launch

Local news item to promote the Footsteps to Freedom exhibition in Newcastle.

With huge thanks to Bethany Ellen Coyle, coordinator of JtoJ Newcastle: Footsteps to Freedom in the North East.

Footsteps To Freedom, Newcastle 2015

Filmed by Hugh Kelly of Swingbridge Media and edited by Professor Steve Hawley at the School of Art at Manchester Met. A huge thank you to Steve for capturing our story:

Launch of Footsteps To Freedom in the North East

Saturday April 4th is the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s assassination and was the date of our North East launch.  Journey to Justice is part of his legacy. In our exhibition we tell the stories of less well-known people who chose to join the civil rights movement and, by doing so, helped bring more justice to the world. We celebrated with a rich mix of local singers and speakers from our partners and supporters and poetry by young people in Leyton, London who are part of Journey to Justice.

Highlights included a song composed by Crossings for JtoJ, music of North East heritage performed by Johnny Handle and Benny Graham and an impassioned speech about the global meaning of Justice by Archie Sibeko, international trade unionist and a former cell mate of Nelson Mandela.

The event was run by 20 of our volunteers and at the end they each read a line from the speech by MLK when he came to receive his honorary degree at Newcastle University on 13th November 1967.

The exhibition was opened by Marcia Saunders, former US civil rights activist in the Tennessee voter registration campaign and whose story is told in the exhibition . She cut the ribbon with Spencer Moore of Kingsmeadow School after he sang Oh Freedom with his community choir and all his heart.

See here for Marcia’s speech.

350 people packed into the magnificent Great Hall at Discovery Museum. Formerly the canteen and ballroom for Co-op workers, it was the perfect venue for our opening and all filmed by the BBC. We had a minute of fame on Look North that night which – with fantastic coverage on the radio and in The Journal and Chronicle has brought hundreds of visitors to our exhibition.


‘The Journey to Justice Newcastle launch was a diverse and inspiring event to all who attended.  The inclusive nature of the launch ensured all voices from all campaigns, from the civil rights movement to tackling poverty today – were heard.  All linked by the way normal people see something that is wrong and strive to change it.  Our highlights were Archie’s inspiring speech, the photographs from campaigns and of course the singing!’
PEN (Poverty Ends Now) group

The inclusiveness of J2J shone through. Especially important was putting people on stage who clearly are not often given such a platform alongside confident experienced speakers and leaders and the MP.’

I loved every minute of the incredible launch. I know many of you have worked so hard to deliver this dream. It was a moving afternoon with wonderful speeches and music. My parents and boyfriend attended – they hadn’t really known what to expect but they came away very much inspired and full of it. I feel very privileged to be involved.’

‘It was a great day of solidarity and aspiring activists. There was a humbling atmosphere full of smiles. We are not here for fame and money but for change and empowerment.’

 ‘It was a magnificent afternoon.’ ‘The opening was fantastic..Everyone was superb…Zola’s a legend!’

 ‘It was so special to be part of the day and I felt proud as punch that my parents and sister were able to see it. They were all so impressed, HUGE congratulations!’

With many thanks, as always, to our funders, supporters, guests, performers and volunteers.

Photography courtesy of Aziz Rahman

To see Newcastle JtoJ stories:



Journey to Justice: the exhibition was launched in Newcastle

We were delighted to announce the launch of our travelling exhibition programme in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the magnificent Discovery Museum where it was throughout April 2015 after its launch on Saturday April 4th (the date of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination).

Huge thanks to our main sponsors – Newcastle University, Northumbria University and the Heritage Lottery Fund. And a big thank you to the Barbour Foundation, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, the US Embassy, London, the Sigrid Rausing Trust and many individual donors and events organisers.

We worked with partners from Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Co. Durham, Northumberland and Teeside including artists, film makers and musicians, teachers, students, museum staff,  the Citizens Advice Bureau, Space 2, Children NE, Show Racism the Red Card, Crossings, Gateshead and  Newcastle Colleges, Citizens UK, Curiosity Creative, the TUC, CVS, Great North Museum, community organisers and local politicians.  Local MPs Chi Onwurah and Catherine McKinnell were supportive as were MEPs Jude Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen, Cllrs Dipu Ahad, Jo Kingsland, Stephen Powers and Lord Jeremy Beecham. We created a local steering group and found an excellent local co-ordinator in Bethany Coyle who is a project manager and community musician. She runs a choir (the nes-singers) and worked for years with people with learning difficulties.  A key partner was Professor Brian Ward of Northumbria University who invited us to Tyneside to coincide with the conference he ran in April 2015 marking 50 years since the Selma marches. This is how we promoted the launch:

A stunning new exhibition about the US civil rights movement, the UK and Tyneside’s struggles for social justice. Visit our dynamic multi-media exhibition with its photographs, music, poetry, art, audio-visual, interactive features and installations. Using a series of ‘bus stops’, we focus on the stories of some of the less well-known men, women and children involved in the movement, people of all ages and ethnicities, whose voices are not often heard but without whom it would not have happened – people like us. We show how the movement had a significant impact on the UK and we highlight examples of local people challenging injustice.


Our main target audience is young people but we want to invigorate people at a community level using an intergenerational approach. We aim to attract the general public and people who don’t see themselves as powerful or having a ‘voice’ as well as those who are active. Our programme will offer a mix of talks, walks, films, courses and activities. Our approach is intergenerational with an emphasis on the arts. We will measure its success working with a local team. Planned highlights:

  1. Travelling exhibition at the Discovery Museum
  2. A two day training course for young people They will learn about struggles for freedom and equality. Workshops will be interactive, focused on social change and their role in making it.
  3. A two day train the trainers course for adults who work with young people and community groups in the North East in order to learn the Journey to Justice approach to social change which is based on over thirty years of participatory work with young people.
  4. Workshops in local schools on the music of social protest leading to public performances.
  5. A course for young people working with local artists on the art forms of social justice, leading to a show.
  6. An oral history project. Young people will find and interview those who remember the US civil rights movement and others who have been involved in campaigns for social justice.
  7. A local history research project. An intergenerational group will focus on an (untold) story of a time when people in the region joined together to challenge an injustice. With support from Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, they will tell the story as part of our exhibition.
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For credits and more details about the exhibition and related resources see Exhibition: Resources and Credits

Journey to Justice in the Newcastle Chronicle

Fabulous coverage for JtoJ in The Journal

Taking action for social justice
For some of the many opportunities to volunteer with human rights related organisations in Newcastle and Gateshead, click here (with thanks to Claudia Härterich)
See also Volunteer Centre Newcastle  Please let us know of other organisations.

April 4 Grand Launch of Journey to Justice in the North East at Discovery Museum 1.30-4pm

Exhibition opening with an extravaganza of music, history, poetry and social change

Discovery Museum, 1.30pm: ribbon cutting by Marcia Saunders, former US civil rights worker followed by 2-4pm in the Great Hall: music, history, social change. Guest speaker: Archie Sibeko, ANC activist, trade unionist and freedom fighter;  Chi Onwurah MP;  Space2;  Keith Hodgson;  Children North East;  Prof. Brian Ward, Northumbria University; NESS and  Kingsmeadow Community Choirs; Parul Motin reading poetry; Benny Graham and  Johnny Handle with songs of the North East; Bethany Elen Coyle – Compere.

Tickets are free, but please book on Eventbrite:


Marcia Saunders who will cut our exhibition ribbon, grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a politically active family – her father in trade union matters,  her mother a German refugee from the Nazis.  As a young student she took part in the Freedom Summer as a voter registration worker in Fayette County, Tennessee.  She came to England as a postgraduate student, stayed and built a long career in public services – education, social services and the NHS. She is currently independent Chair of Health Education North West London and a member of the Board of Governors of De Montfort University in Leicester, where she is also pro-Chancellor.  Marcia has dual UK and USA nationality.

Archie Sibeko Railwayman and trade unionist, treason trialist, Communist activist and founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions, Archie Sibeko is better known to many as Zola Zembe (“ZZ”), his nom de guerre. After his service in Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC Liberation Army, Archie was redeployed to international solidarity work. From London he travelled all over the western world, winning the support of working people and their unions for the struggle against apartheid.

Kingsmeadow Community Choir
Based at Kingsmeadow School, Dunston, Gateshead, the choir explores and arranges repertoire from around the world incorporating percussion and instrumentation and explore their own composition and improvisation. KCC have contributed their voices as part of the Journey to Justice exhibition.

The Crossings Project
Musicians from the Crossings project, a charity that provides a range of music activities for asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and local musicians, will perform an original song about the people who inspired them to justice.

NESS Collective (North East Socialist Singers)
Established in 2014 and based at the Mining Institute, Newcastle, NESS are an independent community choir of conscience, campaigning for social justice, political reform and positive change. NESS also contributed their voices as part of the Journey to Justice exhibition.


March – April Heritage Lottery Funded local history projects about Martin Luther King’s historic visit to Newcastle in 1967 and Tyneside’s tradition of struggles for social justice. Curiosity Creative with an intergenerational group from Space 2 and Westgate Past. You can hear their oral history interviews and see a display of their work at Discovery Museum as part of the Journey to Justice travelling exhibition.

April 1 – May 29 Martin Luther King’s speech at Newcastle University on receiving an honorary doctorate in 1967

The film and a mini-display, Great North Museum, Barras Bridge, Newcastle NE2 4PT


Specially curated tours and accessible music workshops exploring exhibition themes tailored to individual needs and abilities. Every Monday throughout April. 1.30-3pm. Booking required email At Discovery Museum, Free

For those with learning disabilities (April 6); Deaf/hearing impaired (April 13); Blind/Partially sighted people (April 20 and 27)

April 7 – 30 The Art of Social Justice

Launch: Monday April 13th at 13.00

An exhibition at Sanctuary Artspace
St Edmunds Chapel, High Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1DL
Tel. 07918 659088
Mon –Thursday 12-4 FREE



Art by Paul Piercy, local portrait artist and children of Corbridge Middle School, Northumberland:

The Black Portraits – An Ongoing Story of the World’s Human Rights Champions: ​  FB:  and

Teacher Gaynor Walker asked children from Years 7 and 8 at Corbridge Middle to think about the meaning of justice and what they understand by human rights. They discussed events that are current or from the past where they think justice was done or recognize there was a fight for justice and were asked to respond by producing a drawing or painting in a medium of their choice.



Sanctuary Artspace is Gateshead’s newest gallery housed in Gateshead’s oldest building – St. Edmund’s Chapel, a 13th Century working church on Gateshead High Street. Sanctuary Artspace is available to hire, providing artists with a platform for getting their work shown to a new audience and their voice heard in local culture. Please see our information for artists if you are interested in hiring the space.

April 9 A lecture on voting rights and racial discrimination by the world-renowned journalist Gary Younge (The Guardian; The Nation)

Free entry but please contact to book a ticket on a first-come-first-served basis, Baltic Art Gallery, 5pm


April 9 International human rights

Stories of struggles for social justice as international human rights activists share their experiences through mixed media, arts and film. Contributions from the Centre for Applied Human Rights; Regional Refugee Forum North East; BAM! SISTAHOOD! the Angelou Centre; films by the West End Refugee Service and more, 8pm, Northern Stage, £5/£3 Tickets on sale from Northern Stage Box Office 0191 230 5151


The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre. It is a community of scholars and visiting practitioners who have a shared focus on the real world challenges of putting human rights into practice and protecting human rights defenders at risk, offering a unique Protective Fellowship Scheme for human rights defenders at risk.

“BAM!SISTAHOOD! is a community-led digital archive project focused on the cultural, social and political heritage of four generations of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) women in the North East of England.

Regional Refugee Forum North East is an independent membership organisation of the North East region’s Refugee-led Community Organisations (RCOs), enabling their Collective Voice to be heard by decision makers so as to influence the way that policy and services are designed and delivered.

West End Refugee Service WERS supports asylum seekers and refugees in Newcastle upon Tyne.

April 9 and 10Community organising, negotiating and strategy. A course for young people at Children North East, Benwell including history, arts and social change. 

Experienced trainers from Movement for Change and Journey to Justice will lead participants through two days of discussion and activities. Plus a session by Celina Dunlop on memorabilia of the civil rights movement.

With thanks to Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, the Barbour Foundation and everyone who came to see ‘Selma’ at the Star and Shadow in January


Thanks to Celina Dunlop, Photo Editor at The Economist, the group will have an opportunity to handle historical objects. Seeing contemporary artifacts takes history off the page of a textbook and makes it real. This collection provides students with a unique opportunity to get in touch with the past. It includes a set of 1930s Ku Klux Klan robes, Klan documents and association badges and copies of LIFE and JET magazines breaking the news of momentous events in the Civil Rights Movement through astonishing photojournalism.

With Jack Madden, a Community Organiser at Movement for Change. Jack has developed leaders across the country and helped them build powerful local alliances and run campaigns that have won change on a variety of issues – developing rural transport services, improving job centre services for job seekers, and taking on problems in the private rented housing market. Participants will enjoy a variety of activities focused on: building power to act collectively for common good; negotiation & learning about strategy. Movement for Change works with people who might not think of themselves as leaders.We know that politics can be different – and better, and seek to challenge ‘politics as usual.’


The mission of Journey to Justice is to inspire and empower people to take action for social justice through learning about human rights movements. We aim to:

  • Reawaken public awareness of the long history in the UK and globally of individuals and movements who take a stand for freedom, equality and human rights
  • Educate through creative arts and multimedia programmes which excite debate; Motivate people to see that injustice can be challenged and that they have the knowledge and skills to play an important role in bringing about change
  • Equip people to take practical action for social justice, encompassing an intergenerational approach and build networks of people working for social justice and human rights.

‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963)

The Northern TUC biennial conference April 11 (9-5) and 12th (9-1)at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead: look out for the Journey to Justice stall amongst others.

April 11 Music of North East Heritage

by two of Tyneside’s legendary folk musicians, Benny Graham and Johnny Handle, 3pm workshops and 7.30pm performance at the Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 1SE


How does a mine work? How does coal get from face to fireside? What was life like in a Victorian pit village? We will be singing songs inspired by the miners’ lives.

To book please email: Donations on the door

Songs of the North East and its history inspired by the lives of those who provided coal and the great wealth it brought. Often won with great hardship and protest from the workers who left their story in rhyme and song.

Tickets available on-line via £8/5 concessions with a limited number on the door


Johnny Handle
Johnny Handle is revered as an international authority on North East heritage; music, song and oral history. Mike Harding referred to him as the “missionary of the Geordie speaking peoples”. A career spanning 60 years has included stints as a coal mine surveyor and teacher. He has released nearly 40 solo albums and appeared on many more… and did you know he taught The Animals ‘House of the Rising Sun’?

Benny Graham
Benny Graham served his musical apprenticeship in the folksong clubs of North East England at the forefront of the British folk revival. He is a much respected musician, singer, facilitator and educator and he has worked with theatre companies as an actor, songwriter and stage and production manager

April 13 and 14 Train the Trainers course 10am-4pm 

For teachers, youth and community workers and anyone interested in developing their practice using our unique combination of human rights history, the arts and social change

Community organising and citizenship education. At Newcastle University.

Day One Monday April 13 Movement for Change
With Jack Madden, a Community Organiser at Movement for Change. Jack has developed leaders across the country and helped them build powerful local alliances and run campaigns that have won change on a variety of issues – developing rural transport services, improving job centre services for job seekers, and taking on problems in the private rented housing market. Participants will enjoy a variety of activities focused on: building power to act collectively for common good; negotiation & learning about strategy.

Day Two Tuesday April 14 Facing History and Ourselves
With Michael McIntyre, Senior Programme Co-ordinator, UK Facing History and Ourselves.  Michael is an experienced teacher/trainer.  He delivers courses which engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide and mass violence such as the US Civil Rights Movement, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. Participants will enjoy learning Facing History’s interactive approach to aspects of US Civil Rights history, learning particularly about how non-violent methods helped achieve political and social change. Free resources & follow-up support.

Venue: King’s Gate, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU   Report to reception

Cost: £50 for Day One. Day Two is free of charge, both days include lunch. Participants are welcome to book for one or two days.

Number of places: 15 per day      Contact:

With thanks to Newcastle University 

April 17th‘The Free Southern Theatre: Telling Black America’s Story on Stage’ 13.00-14.00

Space Six, Floor Six, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, NE1 6QE

The Free Southern Theatre pioneered a union of civil rights activism and political theatre in 1964, during one of the pivotal campaigns of the African American civil rights movement, the Mississippi ‘Freedom Summer.’ This talk explores the FST’s understanding of the role of theatre in the struggle for racial equality in the United States.

Dr Joe Street:

FREE, no need to book.


April 18Newcastle human rights heritage walk led by A Living Tradition

11am, Books For Amnesty, 92 Westgate Road, NE1 4AF

A Living Tradition Newcastle Human Rights Heritage Walk
Which former Newcastle M.P. who did much to build working-class networks across our region would probably now be in prison on anti-terrorism charges because of his links with radicals in Europe at the time? In which genteel surroundings did suffragettes plan actions such as the bombing of Kenton railway station?  Where in Newcastle City Centre did hundreds meet to campaign against slavery – and where did tens of thousands meet to protest against the Peterloo Massacre? Who was the Newcastle-born prisoner of conscience during the years of the Napoleonic Wars?

And where in Newcastle is a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi and other fabulous human rights themed portraits?

For the answer to these and other fascinating questions join A Living Tradition on their Newcastle Human rights Heritage walk. Meet at Books for Amnesty on Westgate Road at 11 a.m. The walk will take approximately 2 hours. With thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund

Email: Pete Sagar for tickets, £5/£3   20 places available


A Living Tradition:

Tuesday April 21st King of South Shields – when Muhammad Ali came to Tyneside and People Like Us

Films made and presented by Tina Gharavi of Bridge + Tunnel Productions and Newcastle University
At the Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 1SE
7pm Tickets on the door – £5 and £3 concessions With thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund


King of South Shields (2007)
Experimental documentary looking at the day Mohammad Ali came to Tyneside in 1977 and the effect this event had on the young Yemeni-British men who attended the mosque. The film examines their emerging Arab/British identity and briefly introduces this historic community.

People Like Us (2012)
How do you cope with being convicted of a crime you know you did not commit? What happens when you are condemned to death row and spend over 18 or 30 (sometimes many more) years of your life locked away?  Almost 300 people have been released from death row after tests showed they had been wrongfully convicted. Through a lyrical and intensely emotional film made in collaboration with Resurrection After Exoneration in New Orleans, Gharavi weaves a variety of narratives to understand a complex issue.


Tina Gharavi is a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker based in Newcastle working on feature fiction, community and social justice projects with Bridge + Tunnel Productions and education charity Bridge + Tunnel Voices. She is a Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University.

April 23 and 30 ‘Sing for Social Justice’

Music making, composition and performance work for six local schools with Bethany Elen Coyle @ Discovery Museum 

Bethany Elen Coyle is local coordinator for Journey to Justice. She is an experienced community arts practitioner, facilitator and committed activist working within communities and alongside trade unions campaigning on regional, national and global issues. Bethany brings creative approaches to political campaigning through her protest song work and is founder and Musical Director of ‘NESS (North East Socialist Singers)’ an independent, community choir of conscience, campaigning for social justice, political reform and positive change’.

Friday April 24 ‘A King’s Speech’ on Tyneside: Remembering Martin Luther King’s Historic Visit to Newcastle

 7-9.30pm FREE 

Brian Ward, Professor in American Studies, Northumbria University. With songs by Bethany Elen Coyle, community musician.

At Great North Museum, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT


Civil rights historian Brian Ward will discuss the circumstances surrounding Martin Luther King’s historic visit to Newcastle in 1967 and its legacy in the North East. He will explain how he unearthed long-lost footage of the remarkable impromptu speech that King gave when he received an honorary degree from Newcastle University and put the visit and speech in the context of King’s career. And we will show the award winning A King’s Speech documentary produced by BBC North which brought to light many local people who were present in 1967 when King came to Newcastle. The event, which includes a wine reception, will feature screenings of both King’s speech and the BBC documentary and a Q&A session.

Tickets are free but please book:


Brian Ward is Professor in American Studies at Northumbria University, having previously taught at the Universities of Manchester, Florida, and Newcastle upon Tyne. Internationally acclaimed as a leading scholar of the US South, popular music, and the civil rights movement, he has published seven books and numerous articles. His major works include Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations which won several awards, including the Organization of American Historians’ James A. Rawley prize for the best book on the history of US race relations, and which was selected by The Guardian in 2013 as one of the best ten books ever written on the civil rights movement; Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South; and The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. His most recent book is The American South and the Atlantic World.

Brian is currently working on three book projects, the first concerns A&R (Artists and Repertoire) men in the early US recording industry; the second examines connections between the American South and the world of British popular music from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day; the third looks at the Beatles and the US South.

Bethany Elen Coyle is local coordinator for Journey to Justice. She is an experienced community arts practitioner, facilitator and committed activist working within communities and alongside trade unions campaigning on regional, national and global issues. Bethany brings creative approaches to political campaigning through her protest song work and is founder and Musical Director of ‘NESS (North East Socialist Singers)’ an independent, community choir of conscience, campaigning for social justice, political reform and positive change’

With thanks to everyone who bought tickets for the Journey to Justice ‘Selma’ event.

The Good Society Debate

Church Action on Poverty North East Building partnerships of hope and transformation
Saturday April 25th 11am-2pm  Newcastle City Centre

As part of the Journey to Justice: Footsteps to Freedom in the North East exhibition programme, Church Action on Poverty will hold the following events with the General Election in mind:

 11am-12.30pm   North East pop-up parliaments at two locations

Indoors at Brunswick Café, Brunswick Methodist Church NE1 7BJ and Outdoors at either Monument or Northumberland Street. Informal conversations about a North East Good Society by 2020 and what would help create this. Jobs, living wage, affordable homes, you tell us…

12.3-pm – 2pm Refreshments and discussion

Room 6 Brunswick Methodist Church, NE1 7BJ. Join us for a pre-election debate over a light lunch about key elements for a Good Society in the North East and how to achieve it. Income equality gap, a fair economy, no-one without a home etc.

We will decide collectively what to do with the information gathered e.g. send it to a local MP, publish it?

(CAP) is a national ecumenical social justice charity committed to tackling poverty in the UK. We believe in speaking truth to power and giving a voice to the voiceless.

April 30Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

7pm at Carnegie Building, Atkinson Rd, Benwell, Newcastle NE4 8XS

(Bus routes No. 1, 30 and 31) £4.00 on the door.

Change for social justice through community organising

We will be welcomed to the Beecham Room by Jeremy Beecham, Shadow Justice Minister, House of Lords and the evening’s discussion will be led by Councillor Nigel Todd, Chair of the Greening Wingrove, Community Interest Company. We will start by watching the phenomenal:

BROTHER OUTSIDER, produced by Nancy Kates/Bennett Singer. Their film has introduced millions of viewers around the world to the life and work of Bayard Rustin — a visionary strategist and activist who has been called “the unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. A disciple of Gandhi, a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., and the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the fiercely homophobic 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He loved the UK and advised peace and anti-racist campaigns here. Andhe sang with Paul Robeson on Broadway.


On November 20, 2013, Barack Obama bestowed a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honour — on Bayard Rustin. Walter Naegle, Rustin’s surviving life partner, accepted the award. Rustin was one of 16 Americans honored at this ceremony.

Watch the three-minute trailer below:

Sunday May 3 Closing Ceremony and Celebration

Handover to Sheffield – the journey continues, 8pm at The Cluny, details to follow   


The Northern TUC biennial conference April 11 (9-5) and 12th (9-1) at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead: look out for the Journey to Justice stall amongst others.


With huge thanks to all our funders and supporters, volunteers and work placement students in the North East. We were thrilled to run the first pilot of Journey to Justice here with you.



We need a few more volunteers to help at our events and we welcome people with skills in: social media, administration; events management; fundraising and research and more.

Contact us:


Martin Luther King speaks – at Newcastle University, 13th November 1967

Journey to Justice is delighted to introduce you to a wonderful short film made for us by Exposure, one of our partners and an award-winning youth media charity supporting young people to improve their confidence, communication and employability skills. They have taken part of Dr King’s speech on accepting his honorary degree from Newcastle University. Five months later he was shot dead.

MLK’s words are so powerful, Exposure produced this film to bring each phrase to life and share with the world. For what he says is still so true for today. The work goes on. Thank you Exposure…

Journey to Justice piloted the US civil rights exhibition in Newcastle partly because it was the only University in the UK to give Martin Luther King a degree.