Video Message by Prime Minister Theresa May on Stephen Lawrence Day 2019
Stephen Lawrence Day is a national, annual commemoration of Stephen’s life and legacy, a chance for us to reflect and to encourage and support young people in achieving their dreams.
Stephen was a young man of enormous potential. He was talented and much-loved, and he had every reason to believe that he would go on to make the most of all that life has to offer. His life stands as an example, a reminder of the work we must do to ensure that young people, no matter what their background, are given every chance to fulfill their ambitions; and a reminder to us all of the work we need to do to build a fairer and more inclusive society. That is what I hope this day will encourage us to do.
Last year, on the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s death, I announced that the 22nd of April would be Stephen Lawrence Day. And this year, children and young people in schools and communities across the country will have the opportunity to learn about Stephen’s life and legacy, and engage in activities that will make a positive contribution to the places where they live. I hope that they will be inspired by Stephen’s story. And I want children in all parts of this country to have the support and encouragement they need to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
Stephen’s murder was a watershed moment for our country. It was a moment that demanded we wake up to the reality of the racism that still exists in our society, and the obstacles that far too many young people live with every single day of their lives. It was a moment that demanded all of us work together to bring about positive change.
For decades – Doreen and Neville Lawrence – have fought heroically to ensure that their son’s life and legacy is not forgotten. This day is a tribute to them. They have shown such extraordinary strength of spirit in their tireless search for justice and positive change, never faltering, never hesitating, never giving up.
Let us continue to learn the lessons of 26 years ago. Let us continue to build on all the good work that has been done since then. And let us ensure that Stephen’s lasting legacy is a brighter, better future for many generations of children to come.