At a reception at South Africa House hosted by the Stephen Lawrence Trust on Tuesday, Straw said £100 000 would be set aside annually for three years.
The trust was set up in August 1998 by the parents of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, to commemorate their son’s ambition to become an architect. It aims to award at least one £5000 bursary every year.
Marco Goldschmied, RIBA president-elect and sponsor of the £5000 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award, said: “The key to real change is education – achieving a level of knowledge and skill, and equality in that skill. The Stephen Lawrence Trust’s educational aims are key to achieving that equality.
“Let us take up the opportunity that Neville and Doreen Lawrence have given us to make that our long-term aim.
“I intend to make education a cornerstone of my presidency at the RIBA. I am keen to ensure the RIBA collaborates with and publicises the Stephen Lawrence Trust’s Jamaica Award and South Africa Award in every way possible.” Ian Ritchie Architects, winner of the 1998 Stephen Lawrence Award for the best building under £500 000, has donated the £5000 prize money to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.