The Student Center for Inclusion and Culture is excited to announce that Bryan Stevenson, M.P.P, J.D. will be the inaugural speaker of the Power of inclusion speaker series. This event is Sponsored by: Africana Studies program, Criminology and Justice Studies, English Language Center, Lindy Center for Civic Engagement & the Office of international programs
Bryan Stevenson’s work is shaped by the idea of a shared humanity or the idea that “we can’t be full human beings until we care about human rights and dignity for everyone.” He believes that the opposite of poverty is justice and that the U.S. justice system is rife with racism and income inequality. He thinks that the U.S. is unique in its mass incarceration system as well as its cultural inability to address the important issues of race and inequality that are pervasive in our society. The work that he has done on these topics is at once heartbreaking and inspiring and it is our hope that the Drexel community will be motivated to further discussion and action on these important topics.
Stevenson’s New Book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption talks about defending some of America’s most rejected and marginalized people. The stories he tells are heartbreaking, yet inspiring and motivate audiences to make a change.
Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization that works to maintain the civil rights of incarcerated populations. EJI focuses on reducing the number of children in adult prisons, combatting the extensive use of the death penalty, reforming prisons and sentencing and addressing the relationship between race and poverty. EJI meets these goals through providing legal representation to defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system as well as engaging in advocacy and influencing policy. In addition to his work with EJI, Stevenson is a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law. He graduated in 1985 from Harvard University with a masters in public policy and a law degree. After graduating he worked as staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. He founded EJI in 1989 and has since worked to reverse death penalties for many prisoners as well as provide representation for the poor and others whose trials were marked by racial bias. Stevenson has been the recipient of many awards including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award in 1995 and the Gruber Prize for Justice in 2009.