On Thursday 23rd September, the Hon. Stuart Lawrence came into Trinity School to speak to staff and students from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committees as well as members of the Afro-Caribbean society.
He was firstly interviewed by Upper Sixth Formers Yash Shetty and Zoe Makele who asked him searching questions about how to develop anti-racism in school and what work he thinks is left to do to challenge problems of racism in the UK, specifically within the media and the Metropolitan Police.
His main advice to young people was to be a disrupter. Of course, be respectful of others, but where you see injustice, racism or anything else that could be changed for the better, be a disrupter. He suggested this could include asking difficult questions, listening to different points of view and suggesting changes. Ultimately, he wanted a future where we no longer had to tackle problems of racism or injustice so that we could focus on the biggest challenge facing us all; the environment.
Once the interview was finished, he took some fantastic questions from the audience and gave a range of views on issues of racism in the UK and wider world.
Another highlight of the visit was taking Stuart to see the Pledge Tree, created last year to allow students to focus on positive change they could make in society and in the school. Stuart was visible moved by the tree and said how much he loved it as a focal point for our community’s commitment towards anti-racism.
Student Yash Shetty said that speaking to Mr Lawrence was ‘incredibly energising’. “It definitely prompted me to think about what I could be doing to stand up for my own values,” he said.
Shakanya Osahon agreed, saying: “Stuart highlighted the power we have, even as individuals, to establish a better and more compassionate future.”
And Iman Khan added: “What stuck with me most was how every one of us has the ability to change the behaviour of others … I hope to be able to adopt this as a coach and mentor.”
Mrs Beresford-Miller, Trinity School’s Head of Religious Studies, comments: “It was wonderful to have The Hon. Stuart Lawrence spend time with our Sixth Form and Staff Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committees and Afro-Caribbean Society last week.
“Stuart spoke passionately about his hope for a future where we can stop focusing on race and focus more on issues that affect us all, such as the environment. He inspired us all to be disrupters, to challenge hatred where we hear it and to stand up for a more equal world.
“His call, to ask all of us to think about the injustice we can challenge, is one that has filled us all with such momentum for the year ahead. We can’t wait to welcome Stuart back in April next year so that other students can benefit from his experiences and wisdom.”
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