Dudley Laws Memorial Scholarship

These scholarships are sponsored in memory of the late Dudley Laws, a civil rights activist and executive director of the Black Action Defence Committee (BADC). A welder and mechanic by trade, he worked at Standard Engineering Works until he emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1955 and became involved in defending the rights of the West Indian community. He influenced the development and launch of the Somerleyton and Geneva Road Association in Brixton and also joined the Standing Conference of the West Indies and the St. John’s Inter-Racial Club. In 1965, he relocated to Toronto, where he worked as a welder and taxi driver. He joined the Universal African Improvement Association, a Garveyite organization. Laws became prominent in the 1970s and 1980s as a critic of the then Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, due to a number of young black men being shot by police constables, as well as other allegations of racist practices against the police. He was also a prominent advocate for immigrants and refugees, and worked as an immigration consultant in the 1990s. In 1988, he founded BADC following the police shooting of Lester Donaldson.