Marking Stephen Lawrence Day

Friday 22 April is Stephen Lawrence Day - an annual event held on the date of Stephen’s death as a celebration of Stephen’s life and legacy.

Stephen Lawrence was murdered in an unprovoked, racially motivated attack on 22 April 1993 at the age of just 18.

After the initial police investigation, 5 suspects were arrested but not convicted, and it took 18 years for 2 of his killers to be convicted.

A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which has been called ‘one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain’.

Because of Stephen, institutional racism was brought into the spotlight, sparking one of the most important moments in British criminal justice.

It led to profound cultural changes in attitudes to racism, to the law and to police practice. It also paved the way for a greater understanding of discrimination of all forms and new equalities legislation.

Stephen Lawrence Day with Brighton & Hove Libraries

To mark Stephen Lawrence Day 2022, Brighton & Hove Libraries have book displays and activities to celebrate Stephen’s life and legacy following the theme #becauseofStephen.

All this week, the Jubilee Library Foyer is hosting a display of posters, infographics, quotes from notable people on the life of Stephen Lawrence and his family and a timeline of events about the fight for justice.

You can get involved by making a pledge using our placards with words #becauseofStephen and adding it to the display. The exhibition runs until Sunday 24 April.

From Friday 22 April until Saturday 30 April, we’ll also be displaying creative writing sent in by the community in response to Stephen Lawrence’s Legacy in the Jubilee Library Community Space.

On Friday 22 April, the Jubilee Children’s Library will be inviting children to draw a picture, use our colouring sheets or write a pledge on placards with the words #becauseofStephen #liveyourbestlife to add to our display.

Throughout this month, we've curated special themed fiction and non-fiction titles for Stephen Lawrence Day for you to explore and borrow from our libraries and from BorrowBox.

Celebrating Stephen’s life and legacy

Councillor Steph Powell, joint-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee, said: 

“22 April is an important date to reflect on and celebrate Stephen’s life and legacy. Because of Stephen, institutional racism was brought into the spotlight.

“Our pledge to become an anti-racist council means we are committed to using our resources and changing what we do to actively dismantle racist structures and challenge racial inequality.  

“There is a lot of work to be done but we’re fully committed to the pledge and to work with others to become an anti-racist city.

“We’re proud to support the call of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to create a society in which everyone can flourish.

“We want everyone to have their voices heard, make the changes they’d like to see and create a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect.”

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