The Empire Needs Men project focused on the diversity of men who fought in the First World War.
It was led by Narrative Eye, which promotes black British literature and history. They worked with partners including 100 Mothers Movement, an organisation supporting women, mothers and their children; Eastside Young Leaders' Academy, a school for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds; and Gangs Unite, which supports young men at risk of joining gangs.
People from Tottenham and Walthamstow researched whether the country their families were from in Africa or the Caribbean helped in the war effort and if their ancestors were involved in the war. A visit to the Imperial War Museum inspired conversations about how the role of black soldiers is represented.
Building on the research, The Empire Needs Men exhibition was developed, which toured libraries and community centres across London. Community events were delivered and a booklet was produced, including information about the history of the involvement of black people in the war, as well as biographies of known soldiers.
The project won Haringey Council’s Celebrating Diversity Award 2014.