Set against a backdrop of institutional and societal discrimination, the story of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice initiative (EJI) encapsulates what is right about family, faith and mission, pointing the way forward. – Ed.
Reaching Out To End Injustice
Bryan Stevenson, winner of the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in social justice argues that the policy of Mass Incarceration has its roots in the practice of slavery, and is part of the continuum of the history of racial injustice in the United States.
From his career advocating for death-row inmates (study this resource about the unequal application of the death penalty on the basis of race, this resource of death-penalty inmates who have been exonerated [and note their racial composition], or this resource on the racial disparity in sentencing), Stevenson turned his attention to juveniles sentenced to "life without parole". (Read this fact sheet of racially disproportionate sentencing of juveniles). In June, 2013, Stevenson argued before the United States Supreme Court that these sentences are cruel and unusual, and prevailed.Read the full Profile of Bryan Stevenson in the Smithsonian Magazine. Watch Bryan Stevenson's TED Talk, "We Need to Talk About an Injustice." [ted id=1378]