Stuart Lawrence gives motivational talk to UEA students

Brother of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, Stuart shared his experiences to over 300 attendees about the death of his brother after a racially motivated attack in 1993.

Stuart Lawrence, who is now a professional motivational speaker, talked about his journey since his brother’s death, and the justice they eventually found.

Stuart was only sixteen at the time and remembers the moment when someone came to his house and told his parents they needed to go to the police station.

He told the audience how he had to wait at home for an hour and a half before his Mum and Dad returned

He said how when he was told the news about his brother he had never seen his dad so distraught: “he was absolutely broken, absolutely in pieces.”

Stuart’s shock and confusion pushed him wanting answers so “the very next day I [Stuart] decided to, and went to school.”

He said how everywhere Stephen went people just wanted to be his friend. By going to school he thought he had a chance of finding out who was involved in his brother’s death.

The news of Stephen’s murder spread, and it was always the same six names that came up with who was involved in the attack. Stuart explained how “my Mum and Dad were strong and persistent”, which eventually resulted in the conviction of two men in January 2012. Nineteen years after Stephen’s death.

Photo: Stuart Lawrence

Stuart went on to talk about the science behind the way we think and reflect. He referred to the term neuroplasticity, meaning the ability to reflect after doing something, and then making a change if needed- in a nutshell, hindsight.

“If I could bottle hindsight and sell it I’d be the richest man in the world”, Stuart Lawrence. 

This idea of hindsight led Stuart to discuss how “all I want to be is a better version of myself tomorrow than I was today”. A type of mantra that he refers back to, especially in the ten minutes he takes each day to just sit somewhere and think.

Stuart’s experience with his brother’s murder has brought him alot of grief that manifested itself into depression- something he still struggles with today. However, his love for his wife and son drives him to adhere to his mantra and be the person he wants to be.

Stuart was a calm and humble speaker who holds UEA close to him as both his mother and wife gained their degree from the University. He was eager to speak to students again, hoping to be in person and on campus in the future.

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