About the Wilberforce Lecture Trust
The Annual Wilberforce Lecture was established in Hull in the early 1990’s in what seemed then, briefly as it turned out, an optimistic time for the world with dictatorships collapsing across the globe. Our purpose was, at a local level, to enhance knowledge and understanding about the benefits of democracy and the acceptance of human rights and highlight their abuse.
From a small initial event looking at the then disgraceful record of the Indonesian government in East Timor, we have gone on to attract Nobel Laureates and Government Ministers as well as some of the unsung heroes of conflicts such as the civil War in Sierra Leone to speak about their experiences, their fears and their hopes and aspirations for the future.
Our focus has very much been on the developing World, particularly highlighting Africa and Asia, building on Hull’s historic connections, particularly with the former Continent and the outstanding legacy of William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement he did so much to further.
The Wilberforce Medal award
As well as seeking to spread knowledge and interest we also honour those individuals who have made an exceptional and effective contribution to spreading the benefits of democracy and an acceptance of human rights with the award of the Wilberforce Medal. As you will see on the pages following this, they are an eclectic group but all have in some way made a contribution which marks them out from the crowd.
Spreading the word
Hopefully this website will spread further afield some of the thoughts and experiences which we have been privileged to enjoy over the past dozen years and is also our contribution to the events which mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire which William Wilberforce did so much to bring about.