Mum of murdered teen Stephen Lawrence gives inspiring lecture on 'legacy of change' at University of Bedfordfordshire
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A vocal campaigner for justice and equality after the racist murder of her son received a huge welcome at the University of Bedfordshire last week.
Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE delivered a public lecture about her life and career, honouring her 30-year-long campaign for justice and equality following the murder of her son, Stephen, in London in 1993.
On Tuesday, October 3, a sold-out audience of more than 200 people attended the lecture – entitled 'A Legacy of Hope and Change' – at the University's Luton campus, with hundreds more joining via the online livestream. The event is available to view again on the University's YouTube channel.
During the lecture and Q&A, Baroness Lawrence spoke openly about her extraordinary life, career and the events which have shaped her life. This included her work to create a better and fairer society following her son’s death, how she learned to grieve and how her family has sought and fought for criminal justice.
She said: "Here I am now, having to use my voice on a bigger platform. Stephen's death changed me completely, even though I'd always said I am the same person, except my voice is a little louder than it used to be. People say to me, 'I don't know how you do this,' but I didn't plan on anything, I haven't got any script I'm following. I'm just following my heart in what I know I need to do.
“I try not to focus too much on knife crime, I try to look at the positive side of what Stephen’s name can do to try and make change – I know a lot of parents are also trying to do that.”
Welcoming Baroness Lawrence, the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Rebecca Bunting commented: “Baroness Lawrence leads as a powerhouse of courage, ensuring that Stephen’s story is as important and relevant as ever.”
Before the event, Baroness Lawrence also met with members of the University’s Race Equality Network to discuss the important actions taking place across University to promote race equality for all students and staff.
The event marks the beginning of the University of Bedfordshire’s Black History Month celebrations, with further events lined up throughout the month.