LBU Together

National Stephen Lawrence Day

Leeds Beckett University will mark Stephen Lawrence Day, on 22 April, by illuminating the Portland Building at City Campus. The University and College Union (UCU) are hosting two virtual workshops to mark Stephen Lawrence Day.

Published on 19 Apr 2021
Image of Stephen Lawrence with text overlay 'National Stephen Lawrence Day on 22 April'

The murder of Stephen Lawrence shook the nation. The stolen life was tragic, but the handling of the crime illuminated the treatment of black citizens in the UK. After his independent inquiry, the report by Sir William Macpherson concluded that the police were institutionally racist. Although his report focussed on the police, it was evident that racism ran through the fabric of the core fundamental institutions in Britain, including education.   

Twenty-eight years later, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report claims that institutional racism no longer exists, other determinants account for the disparity in positive life experiences and outcomes for the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community within Britain. However, if we actively listen to our BAME students and colleagues we must accept that racism occurs in all institutions, including our own – those voices must not be ignored. 

We must commit to listening to these personal and collective accounts articulated in our university community but recognise that listening is insufficient on its own. The University and College Union (UCU) are hosting two virtual workshops to mark Stephen Lawrence Day, and to look at ways in which we can make a positive change. Working collaboratively with students and staff, the workshops will help us to identify actions that we can take to make our university an institution where those from the BAME community can not only attend and achieve, but also make positive contributions that are recognised and appreciated by all.  

The workshops will empower students to co-produce curriculum materials that do not oppress black students, and that enable and support both students and lecturers to respond to the challenge of making changes to teaching materials. The workshops will also showcase the work of students at different stages in their academic career, sharing their experiences of studying in the UK. Their achievements will be seen through a lens that acknowledges their journey, one where to navigate the system they have had to acquire tools that make them ‘acceptable’ to institutions that promote a specific ideology of success, that has little or nothing to do with them.

Marking Stephen Lawrence Day is part of a wider commitment to decolonise the curriculum for the benefit of all members of the LBU community.  

Please note that both workshops, hosted by the University and College Union (UCU), are open to Leeds Beckett University colleagues and students only.

Wednesday 21 April, 14:00 –15:30

Michael Akinola will present his research ‘Why We Protest: A thematic analysis of the motivations, effects and significance of Black Activism in 2020’.

This will be followed by Spilling the Tea: ‘BAME’ students, Latoyah Wong and Terrance Dasent talk about their experiences of life at Leeds Beckett University.

Join the event here click this link

Thursday 22 April, 13:00 –14:30

Shirleecia Ward and Bernie Albert invite you to join them in a discussion about our responsibilities and contributions to ensure the delivery of an anti-racist curriculum.

Join the Microsoft Teams event here - click this link

Written by members of Leeds Beckett University’s Equality & Diversity Committee
Shirleecia Ward, Lecturer
Bernadette Albert, Senior Lecturer
Ian Lamond, Senior Lecturer
Margaret Chawawa, Senior Lecturer
Melvyn Kelly, University Chaplin and Chair of the Faith Forum

Shirleecia Ward

Lecturer / School Of Health

An experienced Youth Worker and Social Worker, championing the rights of children, young people and their families. Committed to challenging social injustice and illuminating the voices of those in society who are routinely oppressed.

Bernie Albert

Senior Lecturer / School Of Events, Tourism And Hospitality Management

Course Leader BA(Hons) Event Management. Bernadette Theodore, SFHEA has been a Senior Lecturer at the UK Centre for Event Management for over 9 years and is a specialist in State and Civic Events, International VIP Protocol and VIP Security.

Dr Ian Lamond

Senior Lecturer / School Of Events, Tourism And Hospitality Management

Ian is an events researcher examining the conceptual foundations of event studies. His research interests intersect cultural studies; sociology; political/social theory, and anthropology. His work encompasses events of dissent; creativity and protest; events marking the end of life, and events of the 'other'.

Margaret Chawawa

Senior Lecturer / School Of Built Environment, Engineering And Computing

Margaret is a Senior Lecturer with 17 years’ work experience in Higher Education and a Fellow (2005) and a Senior Fellow (2015) of Higher Education Academy (HEA). During this period Margaret have taken on different leadership roles such as coordinator for overseas delivery in Hong Kong, Final year Under Graduate Project leadership, Deputy Coordinator Academic Integrity, College Validations Panel Membership to mention but a few.

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