Throughout October, we want to bring awareness to important Black figures. By highlighting the challenges that the Black community has endured, we hope to help understand and support the modern community that continues to thrive today.
b. 24 October 1952
Baroness Lawrence is a British-Jamaican campaigner, and is the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993.
Following Stephen’s murder, Lawrence claimed that the investigation by the Metropolitan Police investigation was not being completed properly, due to both incompetence and racism.
Following years of campaigning, Jack Straw, Labour Home Secretary established the MacPherson inquiry, which found the Metropolitan Police to be institutionally racist.
Doreen Lawrence also established the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, now known as Blueprint For All, which works to create an inclusive society where everyone can thrive.
Lawrence alongside then Prime Minister Theresa May also established Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April, to commemorate his life.
Lawrence also worked with the Royal Institute of British Architects to establish the Stephen Lawrence Prize, to support younger architects, as well as being appointed a race relations advisor to the Labour Party.
"Black people are still dying on the streets and in the back of police vans. For me, institutional racism is ingrained and it's hard to think of how it will be eradicated from the police force."
"We have more than earned the right to live and not have our children killed in the way Stephen was."
"This society has stood by and allowed my son's killers to make a mockery of the law."
"They treated the affair as gang war, and from that moment on their attitude can only be described as white masters during slavery.”
To see more Black History Month profiles, news, resources and events, visit the SU Black History Month hub.