Today marks 28 years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence, with tributes shared under the hashtag #StephenLawrenceDay online. Near 30 years since the 18-year-old was murdered in a racially motivated attack in Eltham, London, many are highlighting how even with the legacy of this tragedy, the government are still denying institutional racism exists in the UK.
Just yesterday, Boris Johnson took the time to welcome the verdict against Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd in the US, tweeting ‘I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict. My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends.’
‘I’m confused because one minute it’s solidarity with victims of police brutality & racism overseas, but when it’s police brutality on British soil, it’s solidarity with the police (& statues),’ Felicia Ayensua, an economist replied to his tweet. ‘So what’s really the truth??’
It comes just weeks after the government published a report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities stating that the UK was not ‘structurally racist’ that was widely condemned as gaslighting Black people in Britain.
As we mark Stephen Lawrence Day though, you can show solidarity in a number of ways – from educating yourself on the oppression Black people face in the UK today with these books, sharing resources created by the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and donating to anti-racism charities.
‘Stephen Lawrence Day is about the part we all play in creating a society in which everyone can flourish,’ the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation stated on their website. ‘The pandemic has shown us why our local communities are so important and how we can pull together to create real, meaningful change.’
Scroll down for charities you can donate to across the UK and US, no matter how small your donation, anything you can give will go towards fighting the deeply-engrained racism that infiltrates every aspect of our societies.
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30 to inspire and enable them to succeed in the career of their choice