Newly commissioned portrait
Baroness Doreen Lawrence
27 April - 7 July 2018
Frankyln Rodgers’ portrait of Baroness Doreen Lawrence can now be seen in our current exhibition Devotion - A Portrait of Loretta.
This is the first work in a major new commission by Autograph, commemorating women from diverse cultural backgrounds whose lives are devoted to seeking political and social justice.
The Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon was awarded the OBE for services to community relations in 2013, and since then she has been made a life peer in the House of Lords. For the past twenty-five years, she has won praise for her tireless dedication to community, antiracism and other socio-political causes close to her heart. Her spirit, resilience and demand for a better way have genuinely changed an institution at the core of British life.
Baroness Lawrence is the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a teenager murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. Devastated by grief but determined to create hope, Doreen and Stephen’s father, Neville Lawrence, founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998, with the aim of promoting a positive community legacy in their son’s name. Doreen and Neville Lawrence wanted to ensure that future generations of young people would enjoy the opportunities that were denied to Stephen by his senseless murder. The trust has had a significant impact on criminal justice and social policy, as well as influencing the lives of the young people it has worked with.
In 1999, after years of campaigning by Baroness Lawrence and her family, a wide-ranging judicial inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances of Stephen’s death. It established that the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist and that this was the main reason for their failure to solve Stephen’s case.
Her ongoing efforts led to an investigation into claims of police corruption, and Baroness Lawrence has continued to campaign for justice for her son and other victims of racist crime in Britain. Baroness Lawrence is a patron of Stop Hate UK, a hate crime charity. She is the Chancellor of De Montfort University.