I spoke at an event that marked the life of a young man murdered by racists, whose family's quest for justice was then failed by institutional racism. The murder of Stephen Lawrence shook a community and our country. It was a tragic and abhorrent killing, but the public inquiry following it which demonstrated institutional racism in the response, had an even more profound effect. The values, decency, persistence and bravery of the Lawrence family opened the conversation about institutional racism and challenged the context for many organisations. 28 years later we are still having the conversation and are confronted with some of the same problems.
There is a national day held in Stephen's memory on 22 April. I represented KCC at the event in Kent, and spoke about the work I lead for young people in our county. I have a responsibility to learn about and seek to understand the experiences of young people from different backgrounds and to work as part of a system that recognises and responds to the lived experience of racism of our black colleagues, families, and communities. If we are to live our values, we must learn from others and challenge perceptions and prejudice, including our own, even if it is unconscious. Share what you know and take responsibility for understanding how you, whatever your background, can contribute to addressing the impact of racism.
If you responded to Matt’s story with a sense of compassion, togetherness and determination, you and your career could thrive with us.
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