Stephen Lawrence Research Centre news and events

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News 2023


The SLRC In Conversation Series: Remembering Stephen Lawrence 30 Years On

South East London as a place and space in the making of race, racism and anti-racism in the UK

Wednesday 29 March, 6:00 -9:00PM

This event, a collaboration between The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre (SLRC) and the University of Greenwich, will discuss the effect and reverberations of living in and through the spectre of Stephen’s legacy and its impact on the everyday places and spaces of South East London.

Our speakers will reflect on the locality of South East London in the making of anti-racist political activism including the campaign in support of the Lawrence family, as well as the historical and political significance of the Black People’s Day of Action following the New Cross Fire, and the impact they had on everyday lives of local people and communities.

 Guest Speakers: Dr Myrtle Emmanuel, Suresh Grover, Professor Lez Henry and Professor Louise Owusu-Kwarteng 

Register your place now!


Queering the lens of Black activism in the UK

Thursday 9 March, 5:30 -7:30PM

In the second of our SLRC in conversation series we invite a discussion that reflects on the (in)visibility of LGBTQ+ Black people in the stories we tell ourselves about Black liberation, solidarity and anti-racist struggle in Britain. In the 1990s, the decade of Stephen's untimely death, Europe's first Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (BLGC), established in the 1980s, had secured a permanent home in Peckham. Section 28 criminalising the so-called promotion of homosexuality was still in full effect and Justin Fashanu had become the first professional footballer to come out as gay.

Our intention with the conversation is to open up a discussion that reflects on how Britain's Black and queer histories of activism, community, resistance, and oppression are remembered, and consider what is at stake when those stories fall through the cracks and are left undocumented.

As community workers, youth workers, academics, equality and diversity professionals and LGBTQ+ advocates - our speakers enter this conversation with a range of expertise, first-hand accounts and archival insights. Collectively, we will explore how Black queer histories are a constitutive part of Black British history and ask what value an inclusive understanding of anti-racist struggles might have for future forms of Black solidarity.

Guest Speakers: Chloe Cousins, Sue Lemos and Femi Otitoju 


Race and Racism in the 1990s

Thursday 2 February, 5:30 -7:30PM

It is impossible to talk about race and racism in the 1990s without referring to the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence and the forms of institutional and state racisms that were exposed as a subsequence of Stephen’s life and death. This panel will discuss the ways in which Stephen’s case has shaped the public discourse on race and racism in the 1990s marking a watershed shift in anti-racist campaigning and political activism. We are inviting panellists to recall their own memories and understandings of that period while reflecting on the significance of the Stephen Lawrence Archive held at DMU, Leicester.

Guest speakers: Professor Jason Arday, Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, Professor Gus John and Professor Gail Lewis


News 2022

The Global Politics of Black Lives - An International Film Festival

Thursday 24 November-Friday 25 November, 5:30-9:00PM

The Global Politics of Black Lives Film Festival aims to generate public conversations about the ways these films depict and respond differently to how Black lives continue to be shaped by the politics of global capitalism, labour, the degradation of the natural and social environments, the global politics of blackness, race and racism, representations of sexuality, and the cumulative effects of power, control and exploitation. Join us to see how these artists tell their stories with rage and humour, with acute attention to healing, love, care and social justice in a time of climate, economic and political catastrophe.

The film festival features the work of Esther Figueroa (Jamaica), Chris Ivey (Pittsburgh), Alberta Whittle (Barbados/UK) and Jennifer Ere-Mendie (Nigeria/UK). It takes place over two days and will include student workshops and conclude with a panel discussion between the filmmakers.

Register your place now!

Where’s the Love in Lovers Rock? - Examining the role of women and gender within Lovers’ Rock reggae music

Tuesday 28 June 2022 

Dr Lisa Amanda Palmer will present her latest research on the complexities that exist within the Lovers’ Rock reggae scene in relation to the cultural politics of gendering and love.

The Queen of Lovers’ Rock, Sandra Cross, will join her in conversation and share her perspective as a female artist with 40 years’ experience in the industry. Also joining the conversation will be poet, author and musician Carol Leeming, MBA who will discuss her involvement in sound system culture, lovers rock and dub.

The conversation will be interspersed with a live performance by Sandra Cross. A recording of her performance can be viewed above. 

Decoding and Decolonising Mixed-Race: An International Conversation on Mixedness and It's Intersections

Thursday 16 June, 6:00-7:30PM

Virtual Webinar, The Exchange, SLRC

Following the release of her new book 'Making Mixed Race: A Study of Time, Place and Identity', SLRC Legacy in Action Research Fellow, Dr Karis Campion, invites an international conversation with Professor Shirley Anne Tate (University of Alberta), Dr Shantel G. Buggs (Florida State University), and Dr Alyssa M. Newman (John Hopkins University) on the intersections of mixed-race identities. Using themes from the book as a starting point relating to; colourism and colonial Caribbean histories; mixed-race desirability and gender; privilege, power, and sexuality, the panel will collectively decode mixedness and its intersections by bringing their scholarship together in conversation.

Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism Workshop

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Informed by empirical data, this interactive workshop will explore some of the key principles of anti-racist scholar-activism and collectively explore the pockets of possibility that we can exploit in service to communities of resistance, whilst also considering the challenges and contradictions that arise from working in the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist universities.

The workshop – led by Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly, authors of Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism (2021, University of Manchester Press) – will be of particular use to PGR and early-career researchers who are, or want to be, committed to social justice. 


National Stephen Lawrence Day, April 22

For this year's Stephen Lawrence Day (2022), the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre are partnering with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and Libraries Connected to enlist the support of libraries across the country and develop bespoke educational activities that promote culture, literacy and learning using the story of Stephen Lawrence.

Local Leicester schools have also been invited to participate in bespoke classroom takeovers (4-8 April) delivered by the SLRC team that explore topics surrounding race and social justice.

Visit our dedicated SL Day resources page to get involved and develop your own activities to commemorate the day using SLRC resources. 

Creating Joy Film Festival

Thursday 28 April, 5:30PM

The Creating Joy project presents its exciting film festival and roundtable. will introduce newly commissioned films by six visual artists. They will each showcase their work in this much-anticipated online event. The artists, who hail from different parts of the Black/African Diaspora, including Nigeria, Canada (via Jamaica) and the United Kingdom (via Jamaica and Nigeria), explore the role of joy and community in their different representations of Blackness. The film-screening will be followed by a live Q&A session featuring the artists.

Roundtable discussion

Friday 29 April, 5:30PM

Hosted by Dr Lisa Palmer and Agostinho Pinnock, the film festival will follow with a roundtable discussion. The speakers include renowned Jamaican filmmaker, Dr Esther Figueroa who will give the keynote address. She will be joined by Dr Cedrick Taylor (USA/Jamaica), Dr Tia-Monique Uzor (UK), Nancy Handabile (Zambia) along with the Creating Joy project partner, documentary artist and filmmaker, Chris Ivey (Pittsburgh, USA). 

Register your place

Find out more about the Creating Joy project


Black mixed-race Birmingham in Perspective: Book Launch 

Wednesday 19 January 2022 

Following the release of her new book 'Making Mixed Race: A Study of Time, Place and Identity', SLRC Legacy in Action Research Fellow, Dr Karis Campion, was joined by SLRC Deputy Director Dr Lisa Palmer to discuss the findings of the book that examines Black mixed-race identities through time in the UK's second largest city, Birmingham. The discussion centred around the stories of thirty-seven Black mixed-race Brummies and provided rich insight into the social and political forces that have shaped where the possibilities of racial mixing occurred in the city.

 Karis Campions Making Mixed Race Book Launch

 Dr Karis Campion and Dr Lisa Palmer at book launch event 'Black mixed-race Birmingham in perspective' (2022)

Scholar Activism in the UK – Questions of ethics and practice 

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Location: Online

What does it mean to be a scholar activist? Leading Routes and the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre discussed recent interventions both within and outside of UK higher education that are committed to tackling intersecting forms of racialised injustice within and beyond the westernised university. 

Activists, scholars, academics, students and thinkers interested in questioning contemporary politics of race and racism will be interested in this event. 

You can watch the event on YouTube.

An evening with Baroness Doreen Lawrence: Bringing Legacy to Leicester 

Monday 29 March

Ahead of Stephen Lawrence Day, 22 April, Baroness Lawrence was joined by Imran Khan QC,  educators, students and community leaders for a discussion on how Stephen’s legacy is inspiring a change for good across the nation. 

 You can watch the event here: The Exchange

Unsettled Multiculturalisms

A four-part webinar series

With Professor Barnor Hesse of Northwestern University, Chicago. This four-part webinar series discusses concurrent racial catastrophes that have unfolded during 2020 through Professor Hesse’s idea on race and ‘transruptions’ and addresses questions relating to the social and global problem of contemporary racism.

The series marks the 20th anniversary of Professor Barnor Hesse’s edited landmark publication of the same name. Each of the webinars will gather together world leading international scholars and thinkers from across the globe to discuss ways to navigate and respond to the urgent issues of our times. Through discussion we will examine the racist fault lines of Grenfell and the Windrush Scandal and discuss the global impact of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement to the extent that anti-black racism has also been named as ‘pandemic’.

Learn more about the Unsettled Multiculturalisms speakers.

Unsettled Multiculturalisms | Episode 1: Formations of Racism & Identities in the Catastrophic Present

Aired: Thursday 3 February

Unsettled Multiculturalisms | Episode 2: (Post)Colonial Entanglements of Windrush and Blackness

Aired: Wednesday 10 February

Unsettled Multiculturalisms | Episode 3: Race, Gender, Class, and the Politics of Solidarity on the Aftermath of Grenfell

Aired: Wednesday 17 February

Unsettled Multiculturalisms | Episode 4: Regional Transnational Blackness

Aired: Wednesday 24 February

Black in Academia

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 6pm - 7.30pm

Location: Online

Leading Routes and the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre present Black in Academia. This event will ignite conversations around the representation and experiences of Black students and staff in UK higher education. 

With a focus on addressing disparities in higher education, specifically in relation to the underrepresentation of Black students pursuing PhD research and postgraduate studies, Leading Routes will share tips and advice on how to apply for research funding while panellists will share their own personal journeys through higher education. 

This event will be particularly interesting for young people in post-16 education who may currently be attending further education VI forms and colleges; undergraduate students as well as students pursuing Master’s programmes who may want to take the next step towards applying for PhD research funding but are not sure where to start. 

Let’s Talk About IT! Race, Gender and Media Representation the-exchange

Thursday 29 October, 4.30pm - 5.30pm

Location: The Exchange, Online

Centred against a backdrop of racial tensions, systematic discriminations and global activism, The Exchange will host a panel-led discussion to explore issues of race and black masculinity within the media. 

The panel will identify constructions of negative black typologies and the impact such characterisations have on the black male psyche. We will explore the impact and legacies of Blackness on screen and celebrate the pioneers who continue to place race at the forefront of this generation. 

The event is open to students and anyone interested in dialogues on representation where race and gender intersect on the silver screen.

Karl Lokko Talk 

Monday 5 October, 1pm - 2pm 

Dr. Yusef Bakkali, Stephen Lawrence Research Centre’s Legacy In Action Fellow, will introduce Karl Lokko, a former gang leader turned activist, poet, influencer, public speaker and adventurer. 

Having grown up on a gang-ridden estate in South London, Karl has managed to harness his life experiences which have propelled and uniquely situated him as an activist and influencer within the U.K and globally. 

The story of his incredible transformation, combined with his unique ability to connect with people on a human level, makes Karl one of the most potent voices in the country, allowing him to bridge the gap between worlds and unite communities.

Distinguished Lecture Series: 'I am a man, your brother': Black Resistance and the Secret History of British Antislavery

Tuesday February 11 2020, 6pm

A talk by Dr Priyamvarda Gopal
Reader in Anglophone and Related Literature, Churchill College,
University of Cambridge
Location: Hugh Aston Building 

Distinguished Lecture Series: The Black Attaintment Gap: Inequality, Exclusion and Injustice

Thursday 28 November 2019, 6pm

A talk by Shirley Anne Tate, Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta
Location: Hugh Aston Building 

Distinguished Lecture Series: Why Black History Matters Now

Thursday 31 October 2019, 6pm

A conversation with Hakim Adi, the first historian of African heritage to become a professor of history in Britain.
Location: The Venue@DMU

Radical Pedagogies: Macpherson 20 years on

Thursday 19 September 2019

Radical Pedagogies is the Humanities Teaching Network in Higher Education which was established as “a forum for lecturers, educators, administrators and students to share resources and discuss innovative pedagogy and praxis.”

De Montfort University’s Stephen Lawrence Research Centre and Freedom to Achieve project will be hosting the second Radical Pedagogies event at which will focus on the way that radical pedagogies can be used to highlight and address issues relating to race and institutional discrimination. 

We welcome anyone who is interested in radical pedagogies to attend this event, including researchers, PhD students, learning technologists, library professionals, academics, teachers, parents, students and educational activists from the UK or abroad.