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Stephen Lawrence Day 22nd April

National Stephen Lawrence Day 2021: A Legacy of Change

National Stephen Lawrence Day 2021: A Legacy of Change

National Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April, celebrates the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence.

The Day was established by the former Prime Minister Theresa May, on the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s death.

Stephen Lawrence was a Black British teenager who was murdered in an unprovoked racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham on the evening of 22 April 1993.

His death and the subsequent police investigation raised serious issues about police practice, highlighting institutional racism within the police, and wider attitudes in this country.

In the wake of Stephen’s murder, activists drove forward anti-racism and equality reforms, changing the law, practice and attitudes.

Key Timeline:

  • 13 SEPTEMBER 1974 – Stephen is born, he dreamed of becoming an architect
  • 22 APRIL 1993 – Stephen Lawrence is murdered in an unprovoked racist attack
  • 06 MAY 1993 – Nelson Mandela at his own request met with Doreen and Neville.
  • SEPTEMBER 1994 – A private prosecution is launched by Stephen’s parents against three suspects. It failed in April 1996.
  • JULY 1997 – A public enquiry is announced to look into the killing and subsequent police investigation
  • February 1999 – Macpherson report published. It accuses the Metropolitan Police of institutional racism and makes 70 recommendations, many aimed at improving police attitudes to racism
  • April 2005 – Double jeopardy is scrapped. The legal principle prevented suspects being tried twice for the same crime
  • FEBRUARY 2008 – Doreen Lawrence opens the £10m Stephen Lawrence Centre in honour of her son
  • NOVEMBER 2011 – The trial of Gary Dobson and David Norris begins at the Old Bailey. Both men are found guilty of the murder of Stephen Lawrence and are given life sentences
  • 22 APRIL 2018 – National day announced by Prime Minister Theresa May to commemorate Stephen Lawrence’s life. Stephen Lawrence Day will be celebrated every year on 22 April.

Stephen Lawrence Day is about the part we all play in creating a society in which everyone can flourish. It is an opportunity for children and young people to have their voices heard, make the changes they’d like to see and create a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect.

The pandemic has shown us why our local communities are so important and how we can pull together to create real, meaningful change.

Through Stephen Lawrence Day we want young people to be inspired about what they can achieve in their own lives. We want them to get involved in creating the kind of community they want to live in, and we want them to have a strong voice in building a fairer and more inclusive society.

We want you to join us in creating a society in which everyone can flourish. The objectives of the day are to:

  • Inspire and support children and young people to make choices and actions that enable them and others to live their best lives
  • Encourage and enable children and young people to play an active role in building stronger communities in which everyone can flourish
  • Give children and young people a strong voice in driving social change and creating a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect

Getting involved in Stephen Lawrence Day is a chance to be part of a national conversation and show your commitment to creating a fairer society in which everyone has the opportunity to live their best life. This year, in particular, it is a chance to show how small changes and simple things that we can all do can make a huge difference.

The day is coordinated by the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, which was founded by Stephen’s mother Baroness Lawrence.

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