Attorney Bryan Stevenson Chosen as 2015–2016 Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecturer
TUSCALOOSA — Attorney and author Bryan Stevenson will deliver the 2015-2016 Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. This year’s program, which is hosted by Stillman College and begins at 7 p.m., is open to the public.Stevenson, a native of Milton, Delaware, is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery and also professor of law at New York University. The lecture series is jointly sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Shelton State Community College, Stillman College and the University of Alabama.
This year’s theme is “Realizing the Dream Through the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person.” Stevenson’s lecture is the first in a series of events held each year in connection with the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Beginning in 1990, the celebration has grown to include a concert, a legacy banquet and performing arts and other events, all open to the public.
The title of Stevenson’s address is “American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity and Making a Difference.” The goal of the Equal Justice Initiative is to defend the poor in America’s criminal justice system. His book, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” tells of his experiences with the justice system and includes this poignant observation: “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
“The Distinguished Lecture Series is an integral part of the Realizing the Dream committee’s efforts to raise awareness for equality, education and social justice,” said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president of UA’s Division of Community Affairs. “Stevenson’s work serves as an example of what Dr. King stood for and of the work we aim to highlight every year in our Realizing the Dream programming.”
Dr. Joseph F. Scrivner, committee member and faculty member at Stillman, said of Stevenson: “For more than 25 years, Bryan Stevenson and his staff at the Equal Justice Initiative have fought against bias and injustice in our legal system. They have won reversals, relief or release for over 100 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. His cases before the Supreme Court include a winning a decision that outlawed mandatory lifetime sentences for juveniles convicted of murder. He is simply one of the most important advocates for social justice in our time.”
For more information, contact the Division of Community Affairs at 205-348-8376 or visit www.communityaffairs.ua.edu.