Stephen Lawrence Day: Kudzai Matsvai

Cardboard placards at a street protest, one reads


Wednesday 17th April 2024 1pm Reilly Room

Introduced by Anuoluwa Ibinayo, President: BLAC

This is a Hybrid lecture which can be watched live on Zoom if you cannot join us, click here to register

Stephen Lawrence dreamt of becoming an architect, but his tragic murder on April 22, 1993 meant that this dream would never become a reality.

This year would have been his 50th birthday, and in honour of this, this lecture will seek to celebrate as well as educate. Whilst Stephen’s dream was unfortunately stolen from him, countless Black people have contributed and are contributing incredible things to the architectural profession.

Join us as we explore the challenges, understand the obstacles, and celebrate the achievements of Black architects and designers past and present. This lecture will also encourage us to look to the future by pushing us to aspire to a better, fairer, and more equitable profession.


Kudzai Matsvai is an Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) Expert, Architectural Designer, Educator, and Activist with a genuine passion for progressive change for under-represented communities. Having obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Liverpool school of Architecture, she has since developed a passion for issues of equity and inclusion in architectural education and practice. She has a strong track record of authentically engaging with diverse communities through workshops, seminars, roundtables, and other facilitated activities. This work has enabled her to advocate for a wide range of marginalised groups adversely affected by inequities not only in the profession, but as they manifest in the built environment.

Stephen Lawrence Day 

Stephen Lawrence Day is an opportunity for people, communities, and organisations to come together and honour Stephen’s life and legacy, stand up against discrimination in our daily lives, and work towards a more hopeful tomorrow. Through reflection, learning, and action, we can inspire change and create a better future for the next generation.

Stephen’s Story

Stephen Lawrence was born and grew up in south-east London, where he lived with his parents Neville and Doreen, his brother Stuart and sister Georgina. Like most young people, he juggled an active social life, schoolwork, family commitments, and part-time employment. But he also had ambitions to use his talent for maths, art, and design to become an architect, and wanted to have a positive impact on his community.

Tragically, his dream of becoming an architect was never realised. On 22 April 1993, at the age of just 18, Stephen was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack. He didn’t know his killers and his killers didn’t know him.

After the initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which has been called ‘one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain’. It led to profound cultural changes in attitudes to racism, to the law and to police practice. It also paved the way for a greater understanding of discrimination of all forms and new equalities legislation.

Vision and Mission

The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation exists to inspire a more equitable, inclusive society and to foster opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK.
The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation is committed to creating a fairer society in which all young people, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to flourish. By providing mentoring, coaching, work experience opportunities, and bursaries for education and training, the Foundation broadens young people’s view of what’s possible, and creates pathways into education and career opportunities which might not otherwise be open to them. The Foundation empowers young people with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need to pursue the career of their choice and supports them to progress along their chosen path.