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LSA forges new collaboration with Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation funded by Elsie Owusu and RIBA

Left to Right: Dr Neal Shasore, Head of School and CEO at the London School of Architecture; Simon Allford, Architect and RIBA President; Baroness Doreen Lawrence; Elsie Owusu OBE, Architect and former RIBA Council Member. Photography credit: Morley von Sternberg

Today, 13 September 2021, on what would have been Stephen Lawrence’s 47th birthday, the LSA is privileged to announce a new collaboration with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation (SLDF). At the instigation of founding LSA Vice-Chair Elsie Owusu OBE and the RIBA, a sum of £30,000 has been donated to SLDF which in turn has selected the LSA as beneficiary.

This generous award is in recognition of Stephen Lawrence’s talent and aspiration to become an architect, before he was killed in an unprovoked racist attack in 1993. By the date of Stephen’s 50th birthday on 13 September 2024, we hope that architectural education and professional practice will be truly accessible and diverse to all. The LSA and its Practice Network will be at the forefront of change over the next three years and looks forward to announcing a comprehensive programme to tackle the structural barriers which currently hold back the profession.

We share Elsie Owusu OBE and the RIBA’s commitment to the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession of architecture. In recognition of those commitments, the RIBA has made funding available for programmes of activity that are exclusively committed to the development of equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession of architecture.

The commitment to fund a programme of work, with the LSA, will address the historic and current underrepresentation of black and other racialised groups in the architecture profession. Further information on the LSA’s intended programme of work and activity will be announced over the coming weeks.

With support from Elsie Owusu and the RIBA, the LSA will also be launching a major fundraising campaign to extend the new bursary programme and provide further funding for initiatives to promote equality in architectural education.


Architect and RIBA Council Member, Elsie Owusu OBE said:

“I am delighted to have chosen the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation as the recipient of this donation. The architectural aspirations of a talented young man, whose life cruelly ended, should act as a positive force in tackling the systemic racial and gender discrimination in the architecture and the construction industries. I look forward to working with RIBA and SLDF to support these talented young people from LSA, as they become successful architects, inspired by Stephen’s example.”


Baroness Doreen Lawrence said:

“I’m delighted to receive this donation to the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. I am keen that we support young Black architects to realise Stephen’s dream. This donation will definitely have an impact in creating the legacy of change the new Foundation has been set up to deliver.”


London School of Architecture Head of School and CEO, Dr Neal Shasore, said:

“It is a privilege and an honour to work with Baroness Lawrence and the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation on their work in this area. With this generous preliminary funding from the RIBA, the LSA is designing an ambitious programme that creates opportunity, enables dialogue and serves as a call to action. With Elsie Owusu’s support, we want to use this donation as a springboard for an ambitious programme to tackle enduring systemic barriers to diversity in architecture. We welcome the support of the architectural profession at large in achieving this.”


RIBA President, and London School of Architecture Trustee, Simon Allford said:

“I am very pleased that the RIBA is supporting this targeted new programme of work to broaden access to the profession. It’s through projects like this, working in collaboration with individuals and organisations with experience and expertise, that we can, as a profession, break down the discriminatory barriers that continue to prevent talented people from studying and practising architecture.”


Download the full press release here.