Stephen Lawrence

Twenty-seven years ago, on 22 April 1993, a young, black teenager was waiting for a bus in south-east London with his friend. He dreamed of being an architect one day.

However, those dreams would never come true. That night, he was stabbed and killed in a racist attack.

It took almost 20 years for anyone to be jailed for Stephen’s murder. The case changed Britain forever by highlighting its problems with racism. This was not just about the attack itself, but also the racism in the police force while it was being investigated. This meant that justice for the Lawrence family was delayed for a long time.

His mother, Doreen Lawrence, said, “I would like Stephen to be remembered as a young man who had a future. He was well loved and, had he been given the chance to survive, maybe he would have been the one to bridge the gap between black and white because he didn’t distinguish between black or white. He saw people as people.”

The UK still has problems with knife crime and racism. Today, Stephen Lawrence Day is held on 22 April to encourage young people to “play an active role in building stronger communities in which everyone can flourish”. How can you help your community this week?

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Assembly

Stephen’s mother, Doreen, is now a member of the House of Lords. In this video, she explains how she wants young people to remember her son on Stephen Lawrence Day.

Activities

  1. How can young people build stronger communities in honour of Stephen Lawrence this week? Think of at least two ways that everyone can get involved. If you are unsure, watch the video of Stephen’s mum, Doreen, under “Assembly” above.
  2. Knife crime has risen in the UK over the last few years. Suggest possible reasons for this.