"The name of Wilberforce is synonymous with the fight for equality at home and around the world" - never was a truer word spoken.

One of Hull's greatest sons, William Wilberforce and his legacy to this day remind the world that real change can happen right here in our fine city.

The former MP for Hull not only spearheaded the "crusade" to end slavery but also championed other causes that people across the world still fight for today.

He continues to be celebrated in his home city and nationally with a 102ft column standing overlooking Queens Gardens, streets and the UK's first slavery museum named in his honour and even his own statue in Westminster Abbey.

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However, for all the grandeur, it will be his fight against slavery for which he will always be remembered.

The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation was founded in 2006 and is located along the city's High Street, at the heart of the Museums Quarter. Its aim is to educate against modern slavery in Wilberforce's name, bringing together experts and helping to empower communities to spot the signs.

The man himself is one of five contenders to be shortlisted in Hull Live's bid to name the Greatest Hullensian of All Time, having won the Politics category.

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Who should be crowned the Greatest Hullensian of All Time

Forty seven legends were split across five very different sections with the winners of each making it to a final poll to crown the city's favourite.

Wilberforce received the highest number of votes of any Hullensian in the first round of voting but the totals have now been reset, meaning the power is back in your hands.

Backing Wilberforce's extremely strong claim to be named as the Greatest Hullensian, Dr Nick Evans, Lecturer in Diaspora History at the University of Hull and the Wilberforce Institute says the man himself is a "worthy candidate".

"From places and organisations, to charities and seats of learning, the name of Wilberforce is synonymous with the fight for equality at home and around the world. It is the reason our institute at the University of Hull proudly bears his name," Dr Evans said.

Dr Nick Evans of says Wilberforce is the man deserving of your vote
Dr Nick Evans of says Wilberforce is the man deserving of your vote

"Wilberforce ensured freedom is a vital part of Hull’s DNA, whether supporting the crusade to end slavery in all its forms or championing causes Wilberforce helped to raise awareness about – including improving animal welfare and supporting people with disabilities.

"Hull was central to his identity. He was born in the historic heart of Hull, christened at the Holy Trinity Church, attended the Hull Grammar School, was elected to represent the town as its MP (he later represented the County of Yorkshire), and continued to play an important part in the port’s expansion.

The statue of William Wilberforce on top of the monument dedicated to him in Wilberforce Drive
The statue of William Wilberforce on top of the monument dedicated to him in Wilberforce Drive

"Once more he is a worthy candidate for your vote! This Hullensian not only stood up for Hull, he reminded the world that people from Hull have always supported those without the freedoms we often take for granted. Please vote for him and ensure we crown a man whose life was dedicated to helping others."