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Lathom Junior School

Lathom Junior School

Stephen Lawrence Day 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 22nd April is dedicated to commemorate the death of the black teenager Stephen LawrenceHe was killed as he waited for a bus in Eltham, South East London, on this day in 1993. The attack on Stephen and his friend, Duwayne Brooks, was racially motivated. His mother and father, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, worked tirelessly for years to bring the perpetrators to justice. They were hampered at every turn, from the local community, who were afraid of the men who attacked the boys, but also the police, who treated Stephen and Duwayne like criminals. This case was a milestone in British criminal history and the Black Lives Matter Movement, often cites this case in their fight against institutional racism. 

Doreen Lawrence used her grief to fuel her fight for justice and although it took more than eighteen years to convict the perpetrators, her hope was that her son’s death would not be in vain and that it would be the start of better community race relations. Doreen Lawrence has dedicated her life to helping others and has campaigned tirelessly for victims of racist crimes. She was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2003, for services to community race relations. She has been on a range of government and police panels to force change in the way people of colour are treated and to foster better relations and was made a life peer in 2013 and sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon. This enables her to have a direct impact on the law of the land and to promote racial harmony at the highest level. She enjoys working with and supporting the education of young people. 

Stephen wanted to be an architect and Doreen worked with the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Marco Goldschmeid Foundation to create the Stephen Lawrence Prize. This is an annual bursary to support young architects. Stephen Lawrence Day was launched in 2018 to mark his passing and ensure his memory would live on.  Doreen felt that more needed to be done to help educate young people and to keep the focus on racial inequality and how we can eradicate it. 

To celebrate Stephen’s short life and to help other young people of colour fulfil their potential as his was cut short. To this end, Doreen set up The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation in 2020, to ensure that his legacy lives on. The foundation’s core values are centred around the ‘3 Cs’, classroom, community and careers. To inspire children to in their words, ’to dream freely without barriers’. They work on creating pathways to success, developing leadership qualities and creativity. Partnerships with business in support young people of colour, and ensuring more diversity in the business world. Have a look at their website for ideas and inspiration.

https://stephenlawrenceday.org/

The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/43793772

Who is Stephen Lawrence?

 

We at Lathom applaud Doreen Lawrence and her family on their achievements. They have ensured that their tragic loss will not be forgotten and will spur others on to fulfil their potential and as always we look to the past, to help shape our future. 

 

Michelle Hector

History Subject Lead