For Students and Educators:
Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Many of the schools we work with are actively examining how to best address challenging topics around diversity, inclusion, and identity—in their communities and in our society. Recently, questions related to racial inequity and justice have arisen in the national conversation. As educators facilitate these discussions within their schools, they may want to consider Stevenson’s excellent book, Just Mercy. This is a highly readable and accessible text, offering both historic perspective and the basis for meaningful, values-based discussion. We recommend adding it your reading list.
One of the seminal books published in 2014, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy illuminates the roots of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, and most recently, Charleston, SC. Stevenson intersperses the stories of his clients, including Walter McMillian’s wrongful conviction and death sentence, into a larger narrative, tracing the history and impact of race relations on our current justice system. Stevenson, a Harvard Law graduate and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, is a natural storyteller and a superb writer. His book is a coming of age story about one young man’s idealistic journey to make a difference in the lives of others. The struggles of the real people he meets on that journey speak more loudly than words about the values of redemption, social justice, and mercy. Ideally suited for high-school readers, Just Mercy weaves history, biography, and political science into a memorable story that educates readers about our recent past at the same time that it inspires optimism and action, while the outcome of McMillian’s story draws readers to the book’s final pages.
Available in paperback August 4, 2015. Excellent audio version also available read by the author.
And here is a link to Bryan Stevenson’s great TED talk, “We need to talk about an injustice”, if you’re interested!