In 1993, Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a group of white males in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting at a bus stop with his best friend. His death caused waves within the South London community he had grown up in and swept across the nation in the years that followed, where the mishandling of the case sparked the debate of the Metropolitan Police being institutionally racist. Seven years after his death this was confirmed by an inquiry, proving racial bias influenced the efforts to solve the case.
Thirteen years later in 2012, two men were found guilty of his murder after new evidence was discovered and both received life sentences.
For over two decades, Stephen’s mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, tirelessly campaigned for police reform and founded Blueprint for all, formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in his memory. In 2003 she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her efforts and in 2019, launched Stephen Lawrence Day on April 22nd to further commemorate her son.
Baroness Doreen describes her work across the last twenty-six years as the hope to create an “inclusive society for everyone to live their best life, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion, disability or background”.Baroness Doreen Lawrence
For Stephen Lawrence Day 2022, you can get involved tomorrow by donating to the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and amplifying and supporting their Instagram by liking, commenting and sharing their posts using the #alegacyofchange hashtag.
UWE Bristol also offers the following courses on My learning to raise your awareness around race and racism to work towards a cultural change across the institution:
- Speak Up: talking about race and becoming an active bystander
- Unconscious bias
- Understanding bias: helping to eliminate prejudice in organisations.