Social entrepreneur, restorative justice advocate, speaker and award-winning author Lee Lawrence will deliver a powerful and inspiring talk next week as part of a series of events hosted by Leeds Trinity University to mark Black History Month.
Lee Lawrence is the son of the late Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce, whose shooting led to the Brixton riots in 1985. On Wednesday 12 October, Lee will speak at Leeds Trinity about the painful events that unfolded. He will also attend a community event at The Reginald Centre in Chapeltown, later that day.
At the talk ‘Touching Ground Zero: Race, Policing and Public Accountability’, Lee will read from this book 'The Louder I Will Sing' whilst sharing the impact of his mother's shooting in the wider community and drawing upon his family's steadfast pursuit of accountability.
The community event in Chapeltown will feature a panel discussion with residents in Leeds, including the Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire, Alison Lowe, where members of the public will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion.
At the age of 11, Lee witnessed his mother Cherry Groce unlawfully shot by police, sparking the 1985 Brixton uprising, and leaving Cherry with physical injuries and disabilities which eventually lead to her death in 2011. After his mother’s passing, Lee dedicated his time to pursuing justice, eventually receiving a full public apology and accountability by the Metropolitan Police in 2014.
Since then, Lee has dedicated his time to pursuing justice through his work as an inspirational speaker, restorative justice ambassador and social change advocate. He shares his story in his award-winning book ‘The Louder I will Sing’ and works with organisations, institutions, educational establishments and communities.
Dr Tamsin Bowers-Brown, Director of the Office for Institutional Equity at Leeds Trinity said “Black History Month is an important part of the Leeds Trinity calendar, but we see it as the platform for launching race equity work that continues through the remaining 11 months of the year. I am really pleased that Lee Lawrence is able to be a key part of this month’s events and that his stories will support our own development in designing public sector courses that support racial equity and social justice.”
Lee Lawrence said: “I am looking forward to coming to Leeds and sharing my lived experiences, from pain to purpose and also to learn of others’ experiences. It’s great to see that Leeds are being so proactive and forthcoming in challenging the issues around race, policing and accountability #togetherwerise.”
Leeds Trinity became the first University in Yorkshire to receive the Race Equality Charter Bronze award in 2020 in recognition of its commitment to improving the representation, progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff. The University also received the gold Whatuni Student Choice Award in 2021 for Diversity and Inclusion and was shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Times Higher Education (THE) awards 2021.
To register to attend the Lee Lawrence events, visit the Eventbrite page.
Find out more about Black History month at Leeds Trinity on the website.