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Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD)

The Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) was created in 1965 to recruit activists and campaign against racism and for race equality in Britain.

Britain's non-white population had increased rapidly in the post-war period. It comprised three main groups: West Indians, Indians, and Pakistanis. The early stages of large-scale immigration waves were marked by a number of grievances and hardships, including high levels of racial discrimination in a number of key areas like employment, housing, and welfare.

Martin Luther King JrIn 1964, Dr Martin Luther King Jr was en route to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Marion Glean, a West Indian-born activist for racial equality, invited him to speak to a gathering of activist groups in London. Glean hoped to break the 'circle of dependency' and the sense of powerlessness among these migrant groups. Glean later said, 'I remember those first few weeks after King's visit when ordinary immigrants, some hardly literate, wrote to ask simply to help. I recall their excitement and their hopes.'

Anthony LesterInspired by King's visit, numerous Commonwealth migrant groups agreed to form an 'organisation of organisations' to represent and fight on behalf of all 'coloured' people in Britain. On 10 January 1965, the name Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) was adopted, and the group called for legislation to fight racial discrimination in Britain. Among the founders of the group were Anthony Lester, who would go on to found the Runnymede Trust, and London County Councillor, David Pitt.

Audio Interview

Nicholas DeakinNicholas Deakin has worked as a civil servant and in local government and chaired national and local voluntary bodies. He was a founding member of the Runnymede Trust and worked with Jim Rose on the seminal Colour and Citizenship. From 1980 to 1998 he was Professor of Social Policy and Administration at the University of Birmingham. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Baring Foundation.

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