Labour’s equalities spokesperson, Councillor Amanda Evans, on Stephen Lawrence Day:
Twenty-eight years ago today on the 22nd of April 1993, Stephen Lawrence was killed in an unprovoked racist attack in London. He was just eighteen years old, a hardworking young man hoping to study to become an architect.
Instead, thanks in large part to the courage and dignity of Stephen’s parents Doreen and Neville, family and friends, Stephen was destined to live on in all our hearts and minds as a symbol of the ugly reality of racism, but also of the hope for justice and change.
It took years of campaigning for the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, conducted by Sir William Macpherson, to be established by the incoming Labour government in 1997. His explosive report was published at the beginning of 1999 and accused the Metropolitan Police of institutional racism. There were over 70 recommendations for change in both the Met and in other public bodies including the judiciary, civil service and NHS, and within two years 67 of them had led to specific changes in either the law or in routine practice in those institutions.
Although it was a further twelve years before any of his killers were convicted in 2011, Stephen Lawrence’s short life and tragic, senseless death were to become the catalyst for much positive recognition of the evil of race hate in our society, and Stephen Lawrence Day was established to celebrate this legacy and inspire further generations to continue the fight for a more equal, inclusive society.
Further information, classroom resources and more can be found at: https://stephenlawrenceday.org/
Image: Stephen Lawrence Day