The University of Law (ULaw) has awarded an Honorary Doctorate to social justice campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE during a graduation ceremony for more than 700 students held at the Barbican.
Baroness Lawrence, whose son, Stephen Lawrence, was murdered in a racist attack in 1993, has campaigned tirelessly for justice. In 1998 she founded, with Stephen’s father, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The aim of the Trust is to ensure that every young person, regardless of their background, is given the opportunity to succeed and be treated with fairness and respect.
In 2003, Baroness Lawrence was awarded the OBE for services to community relations. She was made a life peer in the House of Lords in 2013.
She has won praise for her tireless dedication to community, anti-racism and other causes close to her heart. Her spirit, resilience and passion for a better way have inspired change at the heart of policing. The Baroness was named the most powerful woman in the country by the BBC in 2014.
Baroness Lawrence said: “I am very honoured to have received this honorary doctorate. It represents work and changes that have taken place since Stephen's death.”
The Baroness said in her acceptance speech that she was passionate about education. “Education changes lives. It gives the foundation and aspiration to all who are looking to the future.”
Offering advice to ULaw graduates as they start out in their careers, Baroness Lawrence, said: “Believe in yourselves and your own achievements. Nothing should hold you back from achieving your goal.”
Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice-Chancellor and CEO, said: “It is our privilege to award Baroness Lawrence an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her contribution to the Trust in her son’s name. Baroness Lawrence is an outstanding and inspiring campaigner and a role model to our graduates.”