16th Anniversary of Damilola Taylor Death Commemorated with Memorial Lectures Launch

27thNovember 2016 marks 16 years since the loss of ten-year old Damilola Taylor.

On 25th November the Damilola Taylor Trust, the charity set up as a memorial to Damilola, and global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright will be launching the Damilola Taylor Memorial Lectures.

The lecture series will be an annual event, hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright, which will provide a forum for examination of possible causes and analysis of current youth crime prevention policies and the issue of knife crime among ethnic minority youths.

Violent crime among youths in inner London has been a serious issue for some time. In 2016 alone, 10 young people have been killed in stabbing incidents in London, with the latest incident taking place last week.

Fatal stabbing of teenagers have increased year on year since 2000. By 2008 the number of teenagers stabbed to death reached 23, an increase of 155% from nine in 2005. Last year a total of 15 teenagers lost their lives to knife crime, an 87% increase on the number recorded in 2014.

The Damilola Taylor Trust believes there is a strong need for better policies to protect young people and will be calling on policy makers, the law, youth service practitioners, and corporate organisations to show support and ultimately remedying the social problem of violent youth crime, as well as addressing the underachievement of disadvantaged youths in inner city communities. 

The trust will rely on corporate sponsorship of the annual event to enrol young people from local schools in South London to the Damilola Taylor Trust Career Pathway programme, which includes a six-week life skills training course to enable participants to make the transition in thinking, knowledge and attitude.

On the topic of the memorial lectures Mr. Taylor said: “I am pleased that Norton Rose Fulbright are supporting the Damilola Taylor Trust by hosting this memorial lecture. I am also pleased to have such amazing guest speakers as Jessica Huie MBE and Dr Leroy Logan MBE. We are privileged to have the Chair of the UK Parliament commission into youth violence, Vicky Foxcroft MP also addressing us. The years don't dull the pain and in this 16th anniversary year it's especially hard. I hope this memorial lecture can be a success in bringing people and organisations together and that by the 20th anniversary in 2020 we would achieve the dream of Our Loved Boy Dami, to make the world a safer place"

Stephen Parish, global chair of Norton Rose Fulbright, said:

We are proud to support the Damilola Taylor Trust and maintain Damilola’s legacy through education and to raise awareness about critical social issues amongst young people. As a global law firm, we have a responsibility to help our surrounding local communities sharing our knowledge and skills where they can make a difference.

“In November our London office will be launching a mentoring programme with the Damilola Taylor Trust, which will provide a window into the legal profession to young people who don’t have any existing connections to those working in the law. Schemes like this are important for raising young people’s aspirations and helping them to fulfil their future ambitions.”

The event will take place at the conference suite of Norton Rose Fulbright, London.  More information can be found at: www.damilolataylortrust.co.uk

A feature length drama produced by Minnow Films and written by Levi David Addai will also be screened by BBC1 in November 2016, telling the story of Damilola and how his family was affected by his death. “Damilola, Our Loved Boy” reveals how the 10-year old school-boy’s death in 2000 impacted his family - and their quest for justice.

ENDS.

Please contact Brenda Gabriel by email at brendagabriel@icloud.com or by phone on 07534 360 854 for further enquiries.

All enquiries relating to the BBC1 drama should contact sarah-jane.peyton@bbc.co.uk

The Damilola Taylor Trust was established in 2000 to provide inner-city youths with opportunities to play, learn and live their lives free of fear and violence.  It has launched projects to keep young people off the streets and provide them with improved life chances. 

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