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Stuart Lawrence praises University of Northampton’s efforts for race equality

Date 2.06.2021

A prominent UK advocate for race equality has praised the University of Northampton for the steps it is taking to promote equality for its staff and students.

Stuart Lawrence, the brother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993, took part in a day of activism supported by the University.

The day was organised by the University’s Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) Staff Network to honour the memory of George Floyd, who was murdered by police in the US.

Stuart, pictured, is a former student of the forerunner of the University of Northampton, having graduated in 2001 from the Graphic Communication course at University College Northampton.

The day of activism, which took place on Tuesday 25 May, saw Stuart interviewed by Inspiration FM presenter, Mark Dean, about his life and the work he is doing to promote race equality, which includes the releasing of his new book, Silence Is Not An Option.

Listen to the interview, below.

Stuart was also pleased to hear about the University’s positive action in addressing racial equality in Higher Education, including the founding of the GEM Staff Network by UON colleagues.

He said: “I’m glad to hear the [Black Lives Matter] movement has allowed the young people and staff to stand up and be counted, and feel it is their place to champion their cause.

“I’m so glad the uni is supporting that. This is something all great universities do, they champion the student voice.”

Looking back on his time at Northampton, Stuart was keen to point out the institution’s welcoming culture: “I have nothing but fond memories of the town and University. When I joined, I was the only black kid on my course, but I was never made to feel ‘oh my god, he’s a black guy’.

“I still speak to two of my lecturers and I credit them both for enabling me to develop into the person I am today.”

GEM co-chair, Marcella Daye, said: “We are delighted our that our day of activism was featured across our local media networks and the wider community in Northamptonshire. We would like to thank Stuart Lawrence for headlining the event and recounting his positive experience as a student of colour at the University of Northampton.

“With our partnership with Inspiration FM we believe that the day of activism achieved our aim to raise awareness of the persistence of race disparities, and the role of universities at the forefront of taking positive actions for change.”