The launch of the Fulbright-Stephen Lawrence Award places race and policing in the spotlight
The US-UK Fulbright Commission, the National Black Police Association (NBPA), and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) today launched a new award aimed at furthering research into policing and criminal justice. This award will further the exchange of knowledge and promotion of best practice in law enforcement in the United States and the UK, shedding light on how to improve community engagement with regards to race.
The Fulbright-Stephen Lawrence Scholar Award in Policing will enable a UK police officer or member of staff to conduct research in a three-month programme hosted by three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.
Maria Balinska, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, commented: “The death of Stephen Lawrence was among the most painful of episodes in recent history of criminal justice in the UK. Today, with so much attention on policing in the US, where race is very much in the spotlight, this exchange of knowledge and experience across the Atlantic could not be more timely. A great deal of research has been conducted in the US specifically with regard to race and policing, and racial justice is a global challenge we are committed to facing head on through this new award.”
Andrew George, President of the NBPA, said: “This policing award speaks to hope for a better future – the lasting legacy of Stephen Lawrence. The award named after him will be invaluable in informing policing black British communities. We are curious to find out what perspectives law schools at HBCUs in the United States will offer us.”
Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, said: “I wish to support the Fulbright Award in my son’s name. The exchange between the US and the UK is a way to learn from each other to make a difference in our communities. There are a lot of challenges and it is important that Stephen’s name continues to stand up for justice and equality, for police officers to respect the community they serve.”
Alison Lowe, APCC Lead on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire, commented: “I am so pleased that so many OPCCs and police governance bodies across the United Kingdom have been able to support this initiative named in Stephen’s memory. We look forward to seeing the gains in fresh knowledge and perspectives from this exchange with HBCUs in the US, that can be used to better serve all our communities.”
The grant, offered in academic year 2022-23, will see its awardee conduct research in a three-month programme hosted by law schools in three HBCUs: Howard University School of Law, the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, and North Carolina Central University School of Law. These universities have contributed to a rich body of scholarship in the US relating to race and policing, and this experience will present the awardee with an opportunity to find out about initiatives to build healthier community-police relations.
In a joint statement, the three law schools said: “The UK and the US have taken different approaches when it comes to policing citizens. Education exchange is precisely intended to explore differences, as a means to broaden perspectives and encourage new ideas and thinking. We are proud to host this exchange, which will enrich the body of research around law enforcement and community engagement.”
Recruitment, screening and selection of candidates will be open competition and merit-based: the Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process, looking for academic excellence, cultural curiosity, a desire to further the Fulbright mission and a plan to give back to the UK upon returning. Baroness Lawrence will also review the short-listed applications, informing the interviews conducted with the assistance of the NBPA. The Baroness has also promised to meet the award recipient. For further details about the Fulbright-Stephen Lawrence award please visit our web page.
Since it was established in 1948, the US-UK Fulbright Commission has been advancing knowledge, promoting civic engagement and developing compassionate leaders through education exchange between the peoples of the US and the UK. The Commission tackles global challenges, with an especial emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. The Fulbright Program of awards is now considered amongst the most prestigious scholarship awards globally, with 60 Nobel Laureates and 39 Heads of State/Government within its 390,000 global alumni.
Established in 1998, the National Black Police Association works to place fairness at the heart of the Police Agenda. Its objective is to promote good race relations and equality of opportunity within the police services of the United Kingdom and the wider community.
Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCCs) across the country have committed funding, including: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Bedfordshire; Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for Durham; Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent; Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire; Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) London; Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, North Wales; Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner; Police Service of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Policing Board); Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales; South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner; Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey; West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner; Warwickshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner; West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire; Ministry of Defence Police; Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.
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