I am proud to announce the launch of The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation for Black History Month 2020.

“We want to inspire children to dream freely without barriers”

When Black History Month was first celebrated in the UK, my son, Stephen, was 13 and dreaming of becoming an architect. Five-and-a-half years later he was dead, murdered in a racist attack just as his life as an adult was beginning. What do you remember about being 18? What a great time it is. But Stephen never got to experience that, nor to fulfil his potential.

 

Instead, when Stephen’s life ended, my fight began. I had one simple goal: justice for Stephen. But it was 1993 and it turned out that attaining justice for the murder of an innocent Black man was difficult. Far harder than I had imagined, for reasons that shouldn’t exist and which required time, persistence and insistence to be acknowledged. I was not able to fully accomplish justice for Stephen, but I am proud that in overcoming the barriers I faced. Britain is becoming a fairer society than it was – although as recent events show, including treatment of the Windrush generation, we still have a very long way to go.

Twenty-seven years on and not all young people have heard the name Stephen Lawrence or know his story. But 2020 has shown us that Stephen’s story – unequal treatment because of skin colour, and exposure of embedded prejudice in systems, structures and institutions – is as relevant today across the whole world as it has ever been. George Floyd’s murder opened many people’s eyes to the extent to which racial inequality remains prevalent. And research on pandemic mortality rates has created further awareness of how pernicious racial inequality is, and the wide but still little-understood consequences of it. COVID-19 mortality disproportionately affects the Black population, with Black males having the highest COVID-19 death rates of all.

I nonetheless have great hope for the future. The tragedy of George’s death was met with an unprecedented and passionate response from people around the world for an end to racial inequality. It was acknowledged that this was ‘a moment’, one of those truly rare opportunities for a step change. Five months on, there is now widespread acceptance that we must all do better and, critically, this desire is accompanied by energy and purpose to make it happen. For those of us who have been on this path for decades. This is an extraordinary, unexpected, and meaningful place to have reached – and on which we must capitalise. We must redouble our efforts, think bigger, create more opportunities for more people.

This is the purpose of my new charity, The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, which launches this month. You may remember Theresa May’s announcement in 2018 that the 22nd April every year will be Stephen Lawrence Day. Marking this day every year – the day that Stephen died – will help keep the focus on racial inequality and celebrate efforts to remove it. The Day will also be a celebration of everything that Stephen was and could have become, and it will celebrate what is being achieved in his name.

The Foundation will be the only home of Stephen’s legacy. We’ve structured our efforts around a virtuous circle of ‘3 Cs’ – Classrooms, Community and Careers. We want to inspire children to dream freely without barriers and to realise the absolute importance of education; we want to support and create new connections within all types of communities; and we want to work with big business to put Black men from low-income families on a path towards the Boardrooms of the UK’s most prestigious organisations. The ‘Careers’ element directly responds to Stephen’s ambitions for a professional career, but which he never got to realise. Instead, we will make that a reality for many thousands of others by creating our own multi-sector scholarship in Stephen’s name, in partnership with some very impressive founding names that will only grow and grow. We believe this is globally unique. Our 3 Cs model will benefit all of society. This will be done by; raising aspirations, working within communities in new ways, creating real pathways to success. We will also develop the creativity, leadership skills and profitability of many organisations by exposing them to increased cognitive diversity. And while we’re starting in the UK, we have global aspirations to do everything we can to support greater racial equality.

How does Stephen Lawrence Day fit with the 3 Cs? Well, the 3 Cs model will create many programmes which will run 365 days of the year. Whilst the 24 hours of Stephen Lawrence Day itself will have many facets, including a celebration of everyone participating in the Foundation’s programmes, plus a multitude of individuals, schools, communities, and businesses across the country! So much already happens in Stephen’s name. I am frequently contacted by people and businesses who are fund-raising in Stephen’s name, and now the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation will be the home for everything that happens for Stephen’s legacy.

We are formally launching the Foundation on October 22, exactly 6 months before Stephen Lawrence Day itself. The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation will be the only Charity with Stephen’s name, with all activities, programmes and fund-raising supporting his legacy. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust was the original charity I set up in Stephen’s name. However, I have not been working with them for several years. As, I am no longer associated with them they are shortly changing their name to reflect this.

I have been lucky to have so much support from so many people across the country and beyond over the last nearly thirty years. As I embark on this new chapter, I hope many of you reading this, during this momentous and memorable Black History Month, will continue to support me through the work of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.

Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE

Comments

As l read this article and see all the effort you as a mother who lost a very dear son in the hands of cruel racist people, l applaud your hard work over the years on his behalf to keep his memory alive even in the midst of your pain of losing him. Well done for it all. I am sure that he is so proud if all your efforts and us applauding you. Like you said, things are getting better but we still have a long way to go. Racism is still ongoing in our communities, Scools work places, you name it. The worst part is that it is always denied. Unconscious bias, it is embedded in these racist oeople they no longer recognize it as such. I pray Stephen Lawrence charity does all that you intended and more by the grace if almighty God in Jesus mighty name amen. Well done We parents also applaud you and all your efforts and the entire black community does too, and l pray for continued strength to you abd your entire family in Jesus mighty name amen.


Thank you for all your efforts and your wonderful and amazing perseverance to bring about change in Britain in addressing racial inequalities and bringing about justice and fairness in our society for black people and minorities. I wish every success in your noble mission!


Doreen , I salute you! To lose your son in such a horrendous way was so hard but you have remained steadfast in your fight for justice and equality, something that I as an 87 year old Englishman have always believed in.
Since becoming involved in the black community 6 years ago I have made so many wonderful, loving and supportive friends who have enriched my life beyond measure and I return that love and support, spreading awareness to the 660 friends and others that I have made since then all over the world.
My best wishes to the Foundation.


Stephen’s murder was a critical moment for my generation. It shook me to my core, but also put fire in my belly to do my best and never waste the opportunities I was still lucky to have. You and your son will remain inspirations to me, Baroness Lawrence. Thank you for fighting.


Thank you for your bravery and consistency in pushing for the betterment of Black people. The memory of your son will live on as lives are transformed and improved through this foundation.


Doreen.

We all have immeasurable respect and admiration for you and how you have kept your son’s memory alive and the injustices at the forefront of the minds of many despite the personal challenge and toll this has taken on you and your family.

A standing ovation.

This is brilliant and worthy or everyones unwavering support.


Doreen, you are one of my heroes. My respect to you as a mother and a woman. You sacrifices, determination as made a difference to the lives of so many people, you have managed to turn the part of the British institution upside down. Exposing racism in the very fabric of our society, making British society and the work see what people of colour has to deal with.
I salute You. Thank you.


Doreen Lawrence
Your beautiful son will never be forgotten,Ever! It breaks my heart that a human can kill another human because they are black/Brown. I can not and never will understand racists. I admire the fight in your heart. Racism affects my family and if I had one wish it would be to eradicate racism forever. I admire you and your family. Stay strong.


Your unending fight for justice is truly incredible and inspirational . To set up a legacy like this is fantastic .


This is very good news.

I personally salute you.
I’m not of Carribean Heritage. But as an African, living in the UK, I understand.
I have followed your efforts from day dot..
Blessings


Doreen, wonderful to see you at the helm of this, especially as the injustice of Windrush and George Floyd has stirred consciences.And your 3 ‘c’s a blueprint for societal change and opportunity. Your steadfast fight for your son has changed this country forever. The cruel disappointment of not fully seeing all those responsible for hounding Stephen to death, rel-lived over and over again You’ve picked yourself up each time. Incredible and inspiring. Changing the law for double jeopardy has meant justice for so many cruelly denied justice. I’m sorry I haven’t come to the lectures or been in touch. My husband has been very ill. However you know I’ll always support you, as I do Pat, Ian, and Nathan Levy for Robert’s memory. I’m Rani Moorcroft now not King. http://Www.Zedgeneration.uk. God bless. Rani x


Amazing baroness lawrence


Truly an exciting new chapter, with incredible vision. I look forward to supporting it.


Well done Doreen
Stephen’s murder was barbaric and the initial police response appalling. I salute you for everything you have achieved to date to get some justice for Stephen, against all the odds, and your strength to take this further, to keep his name alive in the pursuit of a better society for all.

Respect


How can I contact the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to provide my support? Thanks!


Inspiring and a what a major breakthrough. May God pour his grace and wisdom on you as you continue to the work he has called you to do ❤️


You’re such an amazing woman, your continued fight for justice is truly inspirational . My heart and thoughts go out to you always ❤❤


You’re such an amazing woman, your continued fight for justice is truly inspirational . My heart and thoughts go out to you always ❤❤


Thank you Mrs. Doreen Lawrence for all the work you have done, doing and for what is too come.
You have changed the ‘hearts and minds’ of many and will change the outcomes for the next generations to come.
I salute you, your family and support structures to be able to have such foresight, such strength and determination to bring about ‘the Stephen Lawrence day’ and all that comes with that.
To the future…
You make me and my family very very proud indeed.
Sandra


AJ – as I reflect on a time that only shocked many families, what happened should have disturbed the core of our society. Whilst you and your family never ever wanted to be our Ambassador, we salute you for charting a course for equality and justice for all.


I applaud you for your strength and resilience. When your son was taken away from you, he left pieces of himself in all of us. I named my Sun Shiloh after Stephen’s uncle who was speaking on the news that week, so many moons ago now, thank you for showing us and winning your daily battles, this in no way could have been or is easy.
So much love is being sent your way as always and forever have been and will continue.
This story touched me because I am the same age of your sun.


Baroness Lawrence your resilience is a inspiration to mothers especially Black Mothers who share the pain you endure daily since you lost Stephen murdered by a gang of white racist. Good luck to the future and all your endeavours


Baroness Lawrence, I appauld you for your resilience and fight for equality and justice, not only for Stephen but for all those who are faced with inequalities in our communities. Thank you so much. God continue to bless you and keep you strong. #GenisysARCt


I am SO in awe of you, Baroness Lawrence. You have proven yourself the mightiest of warriors in your son’s name. Your strength, perseverance, tenacity, determination and poise have made YOU a figure to watch in wonderment.

I am SO keen to see what you do with your charity, as I intend to create my own, which I will also look to your model for guidance with. You have done so much in Stephen’s name that you are a beacon of light for those of us who are watching from the sidelines, patiently awaiting our turn to follow. I pray i never find myself in the position you were in 27 years ago, but if I do, I know that Jehovah God, and your example, will get me through it.

Thank you for all that you have done.

Kindest regards


You have stood resolute in your determination to receive justice for your son. This will be an important landmarks in British history. Your courage is undeniable, you are such a remarkable woman. Thank you.


Thank you, Baroness Lawrence. Your beloved son Stephen inspired my decision to join the Police Service. I think of him often, as a brother and a hero of change.

Love and appreciation


Dear Mrs Lawrence

Although I never met your son I think of him often and the horrifying events that took his life.

I remember reading the account at the time and being so angry about not only the people who murdered him because of the colour of his skin, but also the response of the police who did nothing to help him and were prepared to let the perpetrators off.

I have followed the case ever since and many is the time that I feel sad his life was taken and that you lost your son to ignorance and hate. I wish I had the power to change that.

More power to you and the trust and let us all join together to defeat hate and ignorance as there is just far too much of it about. You can expect all the support I can give in your endeavours.

Live long and prosper.


What a wonderful, inspirational woman you are Doreen!! God bless you, and for or all you have achieved so far, with love, determination and dignity. We will never forget your beautiful son, or the name Stephen Lawrence, and what it stands for.


Sounds like a wonderful venture. I hope to find out more about how I and my family can get involved. I salute your quiet and dignified perseverance during your quest for justice over these long years. I hope you achieve your goals and that karma aids you in that quest.


For my homework, I have to write a speech about a black briton and why they should be included in the curriculum. I am going to write about Stephen in hopes of more exposure!!! xx u are such a brave and amazing human I love what you are doing.


Godspeed Doreen! Thank you for Believing in me all those years ago at the start of my career and offering one of the first SLCT Bursaries to help me complete my studies and start my career! That very small encounter was a turning point in my career and I want to acknowledge what a difference you made and hopefully that I have gone on to make through mentoring others and the work I am doing now. I am so inspired by the legacy that you have created for your son from such a devastating loss, you’ve treated so much hope and opportunity for so many of us. God bless you always and I Look forward to cheering you on in whatever way I can!


You are a STRONG woman and may the Almighty keep you strong and continue to BLESS and COVER you and your family continually. ❤️God is good always


What a fabulous ad I’ve just seen on channel 4. So simple, impressive and widely inclusive of all humankind. Celebrate and love our differences and variations as part of humankind and the Earth on which we live together.


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