JAN Trust is delighted to be able to announce The Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE is to be a new patron of our charity. We are honoured to have such an influential and determined woman supporting the JAN Trust.
Doreen Lawrence’s first son Stephen Lawrence was brutally murdered, in a racist attack, on 22nd April 1993. Following a nationwide appeal, Doreen Lawrence set upon challenging the British justice system and the police force due to their appalling racist behaviour against her family – which resulted in the conviction of two suspects in January 2012 through the abolishment of the double jeopardy law (2005). The outcome is a true testament to Lawrences’s striking strength and persistence, even in the most difficult time, in the face of great resistance Lawrence never gave up and she continues to fight for a true social change.
Since then, Doreen Lawrence has founded and is Life President of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust – a charity that gives bursaries to young people to study architecture, in honour of her son Stephen who had high aspirations of becoming an architect. In addition, Lawrence was appointed OBE for services to community relations in 2003, awarded the Freedom of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in 2012 and received a life peerage in 2013, taking office in the House of Lords as a Labour Peer in October 2013 as Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon. On 22nd January 2016, Doreen Lawrence was inaugurated and officially welcomed as the Chancellor of De Montfort University in Leicester.
Lawrence continues to fight for the improvement of race relations in the UK, often facing many challenges due to a lack of societal acceptance. Lawrence argues that there needs to be greater understanding, there are many barriers that mean that, in particular, Black youth do not receive the support they deserve, Lawrence highlights the issue of mental health in this respect. Racial aggravated hate crimes in the UK are sadly on the rise, though many barriers have been overcome, we still have a long way to go to protect all citizens from such heinous crimes and provide them with true equality.
JAN Trust is truly humbled to be able to name Baroness Lawrence as our new patron.