“The narrative of racial difference that was constructed during the era of slavery created a lasting ideology of white supremacy that figures into the history of racial injustice in mass incarceration in the United States.” ~Bryan Stevenson
Archbishop Desmond Tutu hails Bryan Stevenson as the Mandela of America.
Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama which is opening the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery Friday, 27 April 2018.
EJI’s national memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration holds graphic monuments honoring more than 4,000 adult men, women, and children has already been profiled with acclaim in national media, including a segment on 60 Minutes reported by Oprah Winfrey.
The Opposite of Poverty is Justice
He is an attorney who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and those condemned to death in America’s prisons. The EJI staff and Mr. Stevenson have won major reversals, relief, or release for hundreds of wrongly convicted prisoners on death row. EJI confronts long-standing excessive and unfair sentencing, abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and deliberates for children prosecuted as adults. Profoundly, Mr. Stevenson has successfully argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court and recently won an historic ruling that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.
The EJI attorneys have exonerated a number of innocent death row prisoners, one such is Anthony Ray Hinton who wrongly spent nearly 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. Because of EJI, he walked out of the Jefferson County Jail in Alabama a free man on April 3, 2015 but has not been compensated from this injustice nor has he ever received an apology from the state of Alabama. Anthony Ray Hinton newly released book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, tells his story of illegal justice in Alabama.
Mr. Stevenson, author of bestseller Just Mercy and a contributor to A Perilious Path: Talking Race, Inequality and the Law, was named a MacArthur “Genius,” and is too a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.
In a recent interview on Vox with host Ezra Klein, Stevenson says “The opposite of poverty is justice. If we actually had been just to those communities that we removed from the land, if we had been just to the formally enslaved, if we’d been just to immigrants who came and gave great wealth, we would actually be in a very different place when it comes to dealing with structural poverty.”
Slavery Did Not End in 1865
Celebrate Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is you will but Bryan Stevenson proves that slavery mentality still exists in America today. Given the current divisive cultural and racial climate, it is clear that you cannot legislate away oppressive attitudes or opinions.
Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Bannon, Trump and conservative leaning devotees swell America’s policy. Slavery mentality did not end in 1865.
Silence is Not Golden
Bryan Stevenson and the staff of the Equal Justice Initiative will not stop advocating for justice. Silence is not golden, now or ever! Speak up for Justice. Stand up for Equality. Stop the Disparity.
At home, on the job, in communities all across America conversations about these issues must be calmly discussed with frank and empathetic dialogue. Talk truth, talk justice, talk mercy for all so that this nation and the world will heal this scourge of racism.
Racism is the most challenging issue confronting America. A nation whose ancestry includes every people on earth, whose motto is E pluribus unum, whose ideals of freedom under law have inspired millions throughout the world, cannot continue to harbor prejudice against any racial or ethnic group without betraying itself. Racism is an affront to human dignity, a cause of hatred and division, a disease that devastates society. ~the Bahá’ís of the United States