People Dem Collective, the activist group taking Thanet by storm

People Dem Collective is a community organisation based in Margate, Kent.

They were founded by members of the Black, Brown and Diaspora communities.

The organisation aims to change a system it sees as p, promote healing and continue the work of their ancestors.

They plan to do so by elevating the presence, works and visibility of those that are a part of the communities.

People Dem Collective also have a strong focus on supporting white people become positive allies and assist them on their journey of anti-racism and healing.

The group was created in 29 December 2019 when a collective of friends and associates decided to discuss their concern and talk about the representation of Black and Brown community in Margate.

Despite being such a young group, they’ve managed to successfully raise awareness in Margate through protests and fundraising for their own projects.

The collective was made out of the lived experience of the lack of space, engagement and inclusion for these communities and an urge to encourage healing and transformation.

They also work towards creating a shift in the fundamental structures within the community, to ensure our sectors, leaders and decision-makers reflect the communities that live in the area.

Within only six months of creating the organisation, People Dem Collective managed to organise a peaceful protest march in Margate called “Margate to Minneapolis” in solidarity of the death of George Floyd and protests that were going on in Minneapolis.

Less than a week later, they organised another peaceful protest march but not in just Margate, but in the whole of Thanet and in Canterbury as well.

These protests were attended by 4,000 people and had a good reception with members of the community even arousing the community to talk about how there is a need for more Black and Brown creative cultural leadership and wishing that organisation would take an anti-racist stance.

People Dem Collective started a crowd funder, named under Black Dream Matter, to help with the development of the People Dem Collective National Culture Centre, a place to be located in London that will celebrate the rich heritage culture of the UK in August 2020, however, they’ve changed to keep it local and build the National Culture Centre in Margate, by the seafront.

They hope for it to rekindle our civic pride and tap into the brilliance that the diversity of the town has to offer.

People Dem Collective believe that it can stand alongside some of the town’s biggest cultural buildings like the Turner Contemporary and Dreamland.

They hope to deliver culturally rich programmes that include identity, heritage, history, hair, music, art and food.

They are planning to not only look at the beauty and cultural experience of Black and Brown people but also Roma/Travellers, LGBTQIA+ and neuro-diverse communities while also have enrichment programmes where elders will share their stories, experiences and wisdom.

The National Culture Centre will have a flexible educational space, a Black British and Roma/Traveller archive, permanent exhibition and performance space, a radio station and podcasting suite, a family-friendly restaurant and beachside cage, little learners play area and studios for artists-in-residence.

£35,000 was raised through community fundraising efforts towards the project.

 

A “Margate to Minneapolis” exhibition was installed and curate by People Dem Collective in the Turner Contemporary where a film was shown of all the recent Black Lives Matter marches.

People were also invited to kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time that George Floyd was filmed for while being killed.

During its month span in the Turner, over 26,000 people visited the gallery.

A Black Pride float was also planned to happen in Margate, host by People Dem Collective but it has been postponed due to COVID-19.

People Dem Collective have made many steps forward since its birth in 2019 and they plan to keep moving forward.

If you want to see what other projects People Dem Collective has been a part of then click here

Support People Dem Collective here