/stories/2019/01/equal-justice-initiative-founder-to-speak-at-um

Equal Justice Initiative founder to speak at UM

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative
By Mike Piacentino

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative

Equal Justice Initiative founder to speak at UM

By Mike Piacentino
Bryan Stevenson, an acclaimed public interest lawyer, will address students and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

When The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration opened on the site of a former slave warehouse in downtown Montgomery, Alabama in April of last year, Bryan Stevenson placed the reality of the 19th century enslavement of African Americans—including the chains, suffering, and brutality—forever in the foreground of American history. 

Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, will visit the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus on Monday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. His talk at the Shalala Student Center will highlight his experiences fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.  

Stevenson will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University, which will be presented by President Julio Frenk, Provost Jeffrey Duerk, Trustee Hilarie Bass and School of Law Dean Patricia White. 

“Bryan Stevenson has been a clarion voice on equal justice for Americans of color who have disproportionately been victims of violence, poverty, discrimination, and bias,” Frenk said. “The University is delighted to recognize him with our highest distinction, an honorary degree for his lifework as a lawyer, scholar, and advocate.” 

Stevenson is a graduate of Harvard, with both a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a juris doctor from the School of Law. He has been awarded 34 honorary degrees and is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling book Just Mercy. In 2015, Time named him to its list of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Fortune included him on its World’s Greatest Leaders list in 2016 and 2017.

“As one of the preeminent advocates for the elimination of societal inequalities, Miami Law is excited to welcome Professor Bryan Stevenson to campus,” White said. “With our law school’s commitment to social justice, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity this provides for our faculty and students.” 

UM students, faculty, and staff may reserve their free tickets at attend.com/stevensonlecture. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please contact the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations at saso@miami.edu or 305-284-6399, or the School of Law’s Office of Events and Conferences at events@law.miami.edu or 305-284-1689.