Although the murderers of Stephen Lawrence were sentenced on Wednesday, wider issues of social justice in the south London community still need to be addressed, the Deptford centre named in the teenager’s honour have said today.
The Stephen Lawrence Centre was opened in Deptford, in 2008 to continue the legacy of the murdered A-level student who had dreams of studying architecture.
The center supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds enter the professional world by offering mentoring and bursaries. So far one hundred bursaries have been handed out.
The centre also runs employment and education programmes and is soon to provide space for young entrepreneurs trying to set up new businesses, something Lawrence showed interest in when he set up a small business with a friend at school.
More than three years after the center was opened, the murderers of the black teenager have finally been brought to justice.
On Wednesday, Gary Dobson and David Norris were jailed for the racist and brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence. Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, have been ordered to serve minimum sentences of 15 and 14 years respectively after they were found guilty of murder by a jury at the Old Bailey.
The sentence comes 18 years after the attack of the teenager, who was stabbed by a gang of white youths while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south east London.
The police inquiry into one of Britain’s most notorious unsolved murders is still open and detectives have nine remaining suspects for the killing.
In response to his death, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable trust was set up by the parents of the 18 year old. The trust aims at “promoting social justice by providing access and opportunities for all.”
CEO of the trust, Paul Anderson Walsh, told Eastlondonlines:
“While the criminal justice case doors have been partially closed, the reality of the Stephen Lawrence case is that social injustice remains. There are a lot more things beneath the surface that need to be addressed.”
Walsh said: “What we do is try to water the seed of ambition one Stephen at a time. Our aim is to give young people more opportunities by empowering and encouraging them and doing our absolute best to enable them to meet their potential.”