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Stephen Lawrence Day: Cohesion Plus to host event as Gravesend talent network GTown Talents release spoken word project


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A specially-commissioned piece of work by a music collective will be part of an online commemoration to mark the death of Stephen Lawrence.

Gravesend-based group GTown Talents has produced a spoken word piece as part of a virtual celebration in honour of the 18-year-old who was murdered in a racist attack in 1993 in Eltham, south-east London.

Stephen Lawrence - A spoken word tribute. Credit: Cohesion Plus / GTown Talents

The piece was commissioned by Cohesion Plus, which organises culturally diverse festivals across Kent, and performed by Pastor Ajay and Sean Alayo.

The online commemoration, hosted by Cohesion Plus in partnership with North Kent Caribbean Network and Kent Equality Cohesion Council, will take place on Thursday between 1pm and 2pm, 28 years since Stephen's death.

The day is marked officially in the British calendar as a celebration of his life and legacy.

Patricia Fenton, who was the Lawrence family's liaison officer, Sunder Katwala, founder of the think tank British Future, Kent Police deputy chief constable Tim Smith and Kent Police superintendent Coretta Hine will speak on the day.

Artist and group member Pastor Ajay performed the song alongside Sean Alayo. Picture: GTown Talents / Cohesion Plus
Artist and group member Pastor Ajay performed the song alongside Sean Alayo. Picture: GTown Talents / Cohesion Plus

Artistic director of Cohesion Plus Gurvinder Sandher said: "Stephen's death was a catalyst for significant change in the UK and it is vital that we continue to shed light on past mistakes so that we can move forward positively.

"We are incredibly proud to have commissioned GTown to create this powerful track.

"It is imperative that talented, young diverse people have a place to voice their concerns as well as their creativity.

"I am also very grateful to our principle partners the North Kent Caribbean Network and Kent Equality Cohesion Council for working with us to make important events like this possible."

The event will take place virtually on Thursday. Picture: Cohesion Plus
The event will take place virtually on Thursday. Picture: Cohesion Plus

Jimmy Babalola, founder of GTown Talents, said: "We are really proud to be releasing this project on Stephen Lawrence Day.

"Our work is built around young people and specifically young boys and men who look like Stephen, who have grown up with similar backgrounds.

"We know how important it is to remember past tragedies so that the youth can pay tribute and also move forward to help make meaningful change.

"I am thankful to Sean Alayo and Pastor Ajay, the amazing artists who worked with us on this project, as well as Nedim Nazerali who directed the video.

"I am also thankful to Cohesion Plus for providing this important platform, in giving these young people a creative outlet and stage to amplify their voices."

You can sign up to the event here.

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