Dominique is an inspirational individual who in the face of adversity, when her brother Anthony was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack, has been able to use her voice and experience to create positive change and promote racial harmony across Merseyside.
Now a lecturer within our School of Justice Studies, Dominique started her undergraduate studies at LJMU just a few months after the untimely death of Anthony and has since gone on to study twice more at the university.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power said during Dominique’s inauguration as an Honorary Fellow: “It is testament to her indomitable spirit and intelligence that she not only persevered with her studies but graduated in 2008. A year later she embarked on another degree at the university, a foundation degree in Policing Studies. Her final year project was entitled “An Ethnographic Study of Ways to Encourage Black People to Join Merseyside Police” …what makes Dominique so inspirational is that she is not deterred by the scale of the problem that needs to be addressed. She has had the courage to take action into her own hands and to try and make Merseyside better, more equal and more harmonious for everyone in the community.”
She received the Honorary Fellowship in 2014 when aged just 25 in recognition of her work in empowering community diversity across Merseyside and beyond. Determined to ensure that Anthony's life was not in vain, Dominique's experiences led her to do two things. Along with other members of her family, notably her mother Gee, she founded the Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF) in 2006. Her experiences in the investigation and prosecution of her brother's murderers also led her to join Merseyside Police, where she worked as a Police Constable for 11 years before moving into academia.
Dominique is the Vice-Chair of AWF which works to promote racial harmony. It remains a driving force for change on Merseyside, using education, sport and arts events as a way of working with young people of all races so that they feel secure in their identity and empowered to welcome and celebrate diversity in their communities. The Foundation also established a bursary, to support students that are currently under-represented in higher education who are interested in studying law or criminal justice.
Dominique is currently studying for her PhD in Sociology and Criminology at Liverpool University and is also one of the founders of The Goddess Projects (TGP), a social enterprise designed to help Black women and women of colour to achieve in all aspects of their lives.
Dominique features in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
In her interview she reflects on her time studying at LJMU and how it grounded her during a very difficult time in her life.
“This place has been my sanctuary, my safe haven. Teaching me how to free myself through books and rediscovering and reaffirming my Black identity. I can’t thank them enough, they’ve saved my life on a few occasions.”
– Dominique Walker
Dominique’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“When I was seven, I knew that there were certain roads I’d have to prepare myself to run through. I’d say to my brother, “Right, are you ready?” If you didn’t sprint, they’d release their dogs on you. You’d be racially abused and attacked. As I got older I learnt to walk around those streets, making every day journeys much longer. But even walking past the old people’s home, they would come out and chase you with a broom.
“In America, they have places where Black people know they can’t be after a certain hour. Sundown towns they’re called. And it’s the same here in places like Huyton where I grew up. But there was a level of understanding and respect that we had in the community. When our Anthony died some of that disappeared for me. That’s the ultimate disrespect.
“After my brother Anthony was murdered, I was speaking all around the world. I was on the news constantly, doing anti-racism workshops for police forces across the country. I was only 19 at the time and I was also raising my young daughter and running our anti-racism charity, The Anthony Walker Foundation.
“University gave me a grounding and a sense of myself. I knew I could come here, and I was safe. My tutors knew everything that was going on and just treated me like I was Dom. I had to submit my assignments like everyone else. There was a sense of normality in my life that I didn’t have outside of uni.
“This place has been my sanctuary, my safe haven. Teaching me how to free myself through books and rediscovering and reaffirming my Black identity. I can’t thank them enough, they’ve saved my life on a few occasions.
“After a career in the police force, I now teach policing for undergraduates and apprentices and supervise master’s and PhD’s. Those people that helped to nurture me are my colleagues now, which is quite surreal. They helped me in my formative years when, given everything that was going on, I could have gone down a different path. That kindness has shaped me into the academic scholar and human being I am today.”