Creating change after tragedy: the story of Gee Walker

Posted on: 9 October 2023 by Francesca Foulkes in 2023 posts

A handwritten sign at a protest reads 'white silence is violence' with two illustrations of black raised fists

Francesca Foulkes, third year International Relations student writes about the story of Dr. Gee Walker, a beacon of hope who, after a tragic loss, founded the Anthony Walker Foundation. In this Black History Month tribute, this blog post explores her journey to combat racism and hate through education.

McGoldrick Park, Huyton: an unassuming green space just 10 minutes from where I grew up and 20 minutes from the University. In summer, children play on the swings, and teenagers cut across the field on their way home from school. But on 29 July 2005, it was here that 18-year-old A-level student Anthony Walker died, murdered with an ice axe because of the colour of his skin. His killers, Michael Barton and Paul Taylor, yelled racist abuse at Anthony and his cousin Marcus Binns as they walked his white girlfriend, Louise Thompson, to the bus stop. They attempted to escape through the park but were ambushed in a shocking act of racially motivated violence. Marcus and Louise escaped, but at 5.25am, Anthony succumbed to his injuries in hospital, with his family at his bedside. In December of that year, his killers were given life sentences.

In honour of Black History Month, I want to tell you about Dr Gee Walker, an inspirational Black woman who, in the aftermath of her son Anthony’s brutal murder, set out with the goal of ending racism in Liverpool and beyond. Just one year after his murder, Gee created the Anthony Walker Foundation to preserve Anthony’s memory, champion anti-racism, and create lasting change across society. Today, the charity offers a support line for victims of racially motivated crimes, connecting them with services across Merseyside, and delivers anti-racism workshops for primary and secondary school students to end hate crimes from the source. The driving force behind this life-changing anti-racism work? The unending strength of Black mothers like Gee who seek justice for their sons and their communities.

When tragedy stuck, Gee knew that she had the power to save other families from the incomparable pain she had experienced. She knew that racism self-perpetuates through generational cycles of hatred and intolerance, which can only be broken through education. From 2016-2021, the Anthony Walker Foundation educated almost 44,000 young people about tolerance and standing up to hate, and several thousand more have been supported through its Hate Crime Support service. Gee also worked with the Crown Prosecution Service to launch a diversity scholarship to help Black and minority ethnic people to study law, in memory of Anthony who dreamed of becoming a lawyer. The scheme offers work experience for young people, undergraduate bursaries, and postgraduate bursaries. For her efforts, Gee was granted an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2013 by the University of Liverpool and received an MBE in 2023.

To learn more about Dr Gee Walker and her work, visit: