THE mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence has picked up an honorary degree at Oxford Brookes University.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence was given the award yesterday at the graduation ceremony.
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE is a leading figure in the field of human rights, with an extensive record of influencing government policy and driving change.
Speaking of her award, she said: “I think it is special. For the university to think of me and for the Chancellor to say all those kind words, I feel quite humbled. When I think about all those things I have done, they are not because I feel I want to be recognised for it but it is a campaign I feel I needed to do.
“I think if they [my two children] could have been there they would be. My granddaughter is 10 today and I know she would say ‘oh, that’s my grandma’.”
The Baroness is a director of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, set up in 1998, five years after her 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in racially motivated attack while he was waiting for a bus in Eltham, south London.
Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of his murder in 2012.
She was elevated as a life peer to the House of Lords in 2013.
Baroness Lawrence added: “We need to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to get into Oxford and Cambridge and into all those Russell Group universities.
“It’s something I have been campaigning for for a long time to have more diversity and to be more inclusive and for the institutions themselves to go out and actively promote more diversity.”
After years of campaigning by Baroness Lawrence, a judicial enquiry into her son’s murder case was established by then Home Secretary Jack Straw in 1999. It concluded that the Metropolitan Police was “institutionally racist” and said that was one of the reasons it falied to promptly solve her son’s murder.
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