About the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre

Inspired by the loan of archival materials by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, which document the history of the Lawrence family’s fight for justice in the wake of their son’s tragic murder, the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre (SLRC) has a mission of becoming a hub of innovative and world-leading research. The SLRC intends to create inclusive, intergenerational research communities that engage academics, students, alumni, local communities and the general public. It aspires to become a place that attracts and develops innovative thinkers who will become leaders by creating impact through their research on a local, national and global scale.

Elements of the centre

The SLRC is comprised of an exhibition space drawn from the Stephen Lawrence Archive that chronicles the 25-year journey towards justice in the aftermath of Stephen Lawrence’s tragic death. Other materials held in the Stephen Lawrence Archive will be available for consultation in special collections at the Kimberlin Library. Additionally, the centre also houses seminar space and learning area with computer terminals, space for informal conversation and a mini-library for the public to use.

The Stephen Lawrence Archive and exhibition

The Stephen Lawrence Archive is a fascinating and important collection of documents, artefacts and photographs kindly donated to DMU by Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

The exhibition draws extensively on the archival material which includes schoolbooks, photos, drawings and certificates, which offer a real snapshot into the life of Stephen, painting a picture of a creative young man who was athletic, popular and dreamt of becoming an architect.

Stephen Lawrence Archive and exhibition 1 Stephen Lawrence Archive and exhibition 2 Stephen Lawrence Archive and exhibition 3


The collection tells the story of Stephen’s life and death as well as the family’s fight for justice and the far-reaching impact of the inquiries and investigations into racism and police conduct.

News footage, press coverage and photographs from the time of Stephen’s death show the devastating journey Stephen’s family went through to try to get justice, demonstrated by the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign leaflets.

Visitors can follow the journey from Stephen’s murder and the family’s fight to get justice, through to the publication of the Macpherson Report and to the 2012 convictions of two of the individuals involved in the murder.

Student work at all levels and across all faculties at DMU, from law to art, from journalism to psychology, will be inspired by the archive collection, which will open to researchers and the public as part of the launch of the centre in the spring.

Over time, the archive will form the core of a larger collection of material related to the Stephen Lawrence case, histories of Black, Asian and racially minoritised peoples in Leicester, and themes of equality, social justice and diversity in contemporary society. The archive will be held in the Special Collections reading room in Kimberlin Library in a climate-controlled storage facility.


  • Curate the Stephen Lawrence archive in collaboration with DMU Special Collections as an educational resource for wide-ranging audiences including academic researchers, students of all ages, and the general public
  • Cultivate inclusive and intergenerational research communities that work collaboratively to develop interdisciplinary research related to the four research target areas
  • Champion the role of research in creating influence and impact on a local, national and global scale
  • Serve as a hub for knowledge exchange and partnership between universities and various public bodies and audiences
  • Harness local knowledge to understand and address social justice issues with a particular emphasis on education
  • Contribute to De Montfort University’s strategic plan to recruit, develop and retain a more diverse academic research staff who are empowered to become thought leaders in their respective fields

Research target areas

  • Histories and cultures of Black, Asian and racially minoritised peoples in the UK
  • The concept and practice of institutional racism
  • Denials of justice
  • The social psychology of racial violence

Public Engagement

We have an extensive public engagement programme that takes our research agendas beyond the university walls. 

Read the SLRC Annual Public Engagement Report 2020-2021

Read the SLRC Annual Public Engagement Report 2019-2020

Contact us

Stephen Lawrence Research Centre
Ground floor Hugh Aston Building
Hawthorn Square

T: (0116) 366 4370
E: slrc@dmu.ac.uk

Usual opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-4pm. For bespoke visits and tours please email slrc@dmu.ac.uk.

Follow us on X: @SLRC_DMU