Anti-racism campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE was our guest speaker for this year’s Alice Bacon Lecture. Due to current circumstances, the lecture was delivered online with excellent attendance and feedback. Baroness Lawrence gave a moving account of her own personal journey from her beginnings in Jamaica to the struggles she has faced throughout her life, each time rising again – one of the many reasons why Maya Angelou’s poem And Still I Rise echoes so much with Baroness Lawrence, as she explained in her lecture. Baroness Doreen Lawrence also responded to many questions asked by the audience, giving advice about fighting injustice and inequality, inspiring us all to believe in ourselves and effect change.
This was the third Alice Bacon Lecture, a public lecture series set up to honour Yorkshire’s first female MP, in collaboration with Rachel Reeves MP, the biographer of Alice Bacon. The annual Alice Bacon Lecture, which celebrates the achievements of pioneering women, is named for the Labour MP who led a crusade to improve the education of working class girls and boys. Previous Alice Bacon Lectures were delivered by Harriet Harman MP – the House of Commons’ longest continuously serving female MP – and Baroness Hale of Richmond – the first female President of the Supreme Court.