Plaque Unveiled to Recognise the Role of Refugees Across the Country

Gulwali Passarlay, a student in the School of Social Sciences at the University, is part of a high-profile #IAmARefugee campaign organised by the Joint Council For The Welfare Of Immigrants (JCWI).

Gulwali has recently completed a degree in Politics and International Relations at the University and has also published his autobiography, The Lightless Sky, about his journey to and life in the UK. He is an outspoken advocate on refugee and youth issues.

Across the UK, blue plaques have been appearing on buildings where refugees have lived, worked and studied. This initiative is part of a campaign, ‘I am a Refugee’, which was developed by JCWI to celebrate the contributions of refugees to British society.

As well as Gulwali, other individuals whose lives are celebrated include Professor Walter Hayman, Judith Kerr, Rita Ora, Alek Wek, Melody Hossaini, Michael Marks and Dame Stephanie Shirley. Gulwali’s plaque can be found in the reception area of the Arthur Lewis Building on our campus. A full list of plaques can be found on the I am refugee campaign webpages.

Attending the unveiling of the plaque in the Arthur Lewis Building, Julian Skyrme commented: “Gulwali is a great example of a refugee who’s made an enormous contribution – both to British society and The University of Manchester. Through writing a book and delivering public talks, he’s used his experience of migration and being in care to support others facing similar challenges. And within the University he’s helped inspire future students to achieve their ambitions through being an ambassador for the University’s outreach work with less advantaged students.”

“As a University we are very pleased to support this campaign and are proud that Gulwali studied with us and continues to make such a positive contribution to British society”