Bryan Stevenson, a prominent lawyer and leading advocate for equal treatment in the courts, will give a talk on “American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity and Making a Difference.”
Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, fights against the death penalty and has been called “America’s young Nelson Mandela” by South African anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu.
The winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant, Stevenson and his nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative have helped secure the release of several death row prisoners declared innocent. The group defends clients who often are indigent, minorities or youths against excessive or unfair sentences.
Stevenson, a professor of law at New York University School of Law, has won many U.S. Supreme Court victories, including a ruling that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.
Reginald Sanders, the James D. & Cornelia W. Ireland Professor of Music who shares Stevenson’s passion for social justice, worked with the Faculty Lectureships program to bring the lawyer to campus because “it seems clear that our justice system is not operating fairly for certain groups of people in society,” he said.
Stevenson's fervor for equality has gained the attention of the White House. President Barack Obama appointed him to the “Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” created in 2014 after shootings by officers around the country. Sanders said Stevenson is making “a huge contribution to society and bringing to light a problem that our society faces.”
Photo credit: Nina Subin
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Rosse Hall Auditorium
105 College Drive, Gambier, OH 43022