Stephen Lawrence grew up in South East London and wanted to become an architect. When he was only eighteen years old, he was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack.
The inquiry into his murder changed the face of race relations in Britain. In 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that from 2019, April 22 would be recognised as Stephen Lawrence Day. The day is marked officially in the British calendar as a celebration of Stephen’s life and legacy.
Thirty years on and the university is working with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to honour Stephen’s life and legacy by establishing a new scholarship programme in his name.
The first of the new scholarships will launch in 2024/25 and will provide a postgraduate fee waiver for Architecture. Priority will be given to black students from low socioeconomic background (Index of Multiple Disadvantage quintiles 1 and 2, low household income).
Vice-Chancellor & CEO of the University of Greenwich, Professor Jane Harrington said:
“We are immensely proud of our partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Foundation and Baroness Lawrence.
“Stephen’s legacy for change will be continued and celebrated through this new scholarship and we are honoured to be the institution that will offer it.”
The university will work with its community of alumni, donors and partners to extend the impact of the scholarship through networking, mentoring and work experiences that instil the necessary confidence to pursue education without boundaries.
Baroness Lawrence is a member of the Greenwich alumni community as well as a former member of staff and she holds an honorary doctorate from the university. In 2000, the university partnered with Baroness Lawrence to open the Stephen Lawrence Gallery. Based in the university’s maritime campus it continues to promote diversity in the representation of visual cultures.
Jessica Neil, Chief Executive at the Stephen Lawrence Foundation said:
“Baroness Lawrence completed her degree at the university in 1995, just two years after Stephen’s murder. Her dedication to honouring her son’s memory is exemplified by her tireless efforts to improve the lives of young people and create a positive legacy in his name. The shared objective of inspiring a more equitable society in which access to education and employability is not restricted for those who are most marginalised is at the heart of our partnership with Greenwich, and the proximity of the university to where Stephen lived and died adds poignant significance to the impact of the partnership.”
According to the “Equality and Diversity survey” conducted by ARB (Equality & Diversity Data, 2020) 83% of UK architects are from white ethnic backgrounds and this disparity is reflected in student demographics sector-wide.
Rahesh Ram, Programme Lead for Masters in Architecture said:
“The statics mentioned above are unacceptable, as the profession and this institution recognise. We must find ways of turning this around and the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship will take us one step closer to making the architectural profession accessible for all.”
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