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Bryan Stevenson to Speak on Issues of Race and Social Justice at the College of Charleston
3/27/2016 10:39:34 PM

Bryan Stevenson (Photo: Nina Subin)
As founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, lawyer Bryan Stevenson advocates for some of America’s most marginalized people – the men, women and children in the nation’s criminal justice system.

On March 31st, 2016, Stevenson will share his insights into America’s justice system as the second speaker for the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative 2016 Event Series. This lecture is free and open to the public, and will take place at 6:00 pm at the Sottile Theatre in Charleston.

One of the most acclaimed and respected lawyers in the nation, Stevenson was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015. His memoir, Just Mercy, is the story of a young lawyer fighting on the frontlines of a country in thrall to extreme punishments and careless justice. It is a powerful indictment of our justice system and the values that allow it to continue. Stevenson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant Fellowship and the NAACP Image Award for Best Non-Fiction. He is also a tenured law professor at New York University School of Law.

Stevenson’s lecture will take place just days before the anniversary of the shooting death of Walter Scott in North Charleston on April 4th, 2015. “We are approaching the first anniversaries of two violent shooting events in the cities of Charleston and North Charleston that made national headlines—when a white police officer and a white supremacist gunned down Black victims,” said Patricia Williams-Lessane, Executive Director of Avery Research Center. “These shootings intensified an already fever-pitch national debate about social justice and racial violence in America. We are most grateful to our partners and sponsors for providing the resources to make these crucial conversations happen.”

Over the next year, the Race and Social Justice Initiative will work with various community partners to host nationally known thought leaders, and to develop collaborative projects that address race and social justice in the Charleston area and throughout the nation. The 2016 event series will be held at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre at 44 George Street. All programs in this series are free and open to the public.

The Race and Social Justice Initiative is made possible by a major grant from Google, and is led by the Avery Research Center, Addlestone Library, African American Studies, and the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI) at the College of Charleston. Stevenson’s presentation on March 31st is co-sponsored by the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative funded by Google, Charleston County Public Library, SunTrust, the SC Community Loan Fund, the Sophia Institute, the Avery Institute, and South Carolina Humanities.

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