FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE has been shortlisted under the Social Driver category for the 2nd Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises UK-based politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. The Baroness is nominated for her initiatives on leading youth inclusion programmes at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
A charity born out of a personal tragedy, Baroness Lawrence founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust following the murder of her son Stephen in 1993. The charity promotes a positive community legacy in her son’s name and creates an environment of social inclusion and empowerment for youths in Britain.
Following the murder of her son, Baroness Lawrence claimed that the Metropolitan Police investigation was not conducted in a professional manner, citing incompetence and racism as prime flaws. The public inquiry, led by Home Secretary Jack Straw, was the subject of intense media interest which became international when it concluded that the Metropolitan Police was “institutionally racist” and that this was one of the primary causes of their failure to solve the case.
Twenty years after the case, Baroness Lawrence notes that not enough has changed if social mobility, a widening poverty gap and racism is still an obstacle for large number of young people. “Equality should mean equality”, she says so, Baroness Lawrence is using the charity as a platform to transforming the lives of young people and achieving real social change.
Her charity offers free training workshops to local communities in Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark in providing young people with tangible skills and access to professions including music, media and law. Some of her initiatives include the Smarter Communities, an employ-ability programme delivering training and activities to inspire people to achieve their career aspirations; the Fair Policing in the Community programme to ensure fair policing, race equality and good community relations; and the Access to Professions Programme inspiring young people to achieve lasting transformation and develop inspirational leaders of the future.
Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “The award illustrates that we do have government representatives that actively work on meeting the people’s needs and we must focus on bringing more positive role models into society and diminish negative news - that is the grassroot diplomacy way”.
Through the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Baroness Lawrence is truly holding a torch of remembrance for her son.
Join Baroness Lawrence and other government nominees at The Mayfair Hotel, London on Thursday 15th May 2014 where the awards ceremony will be hosted by TV Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. For ticket information please visit: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/awards.