Man POWER Monday is back!!! As part of my holiday adventures I had the opportunity to travel to Montgomery, Alabama with my nephew and daughter solely for the purpose of visiting The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The Museum and Memorial came into existence thanks to extensive research and dedication on the part of the Equal Justice Initiative founded by Bryan Stevenson.
After learning about the Memorial on 60 Minutes and reading his New York Times bestselling book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, I knew that I had to get to Montgomery, Alabama. For his dedication to ensuring people are knowledgeable about our history while fighting against mass incarceration and excessive punishment, Bryan Stevenson, with all of his “justice” swag, is my Man POWER Monday pick.
Born and raised in a small rural town in Delaware, Bryan Stevenson grew up in a household which emphasized the importance of education. Excelling academically in school led to Stevenson earning a full scholarship to attend Eastern University where he received his bachelor’s degree. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Stevenson went on to attend Harvard Law School on a full scholarship. In 1985 Bryan Stevenson graduated from Harvard with both a master’s in public policy and a Juris Doctorate degree. Following graduation, Stevenson began his legal career at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia where he represented capital defendants and death row prisoners in the deep south. In 1989, his commitment to representing the poor and disenfranchised, led to Stevenson founding the Equal Justice Initiative. In addition to serving as the Executive Director for the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson is currently on the faculty at the New York University School of Law.
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to “ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society”. The attorneys at the Equal Justice Initiative litigate on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct.
His work has led to Bryan Stevenson being the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize, the National Medal of Liberty, the Public Interest Lawyer of the Year by the National Association of Public Interest Lawyers, and the Olaf Palme Prize in Stockholm, Sweden for international human rights.
Bryan Stevenson with all of his “justice” swag keeps me inspired as a litigator. Commitment and compassion can truly make a difference!
Here is one of Bryan Stevenson’s TED talks. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Who do you think I should feature on “Man POWER Monday”? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or respond in the comments section with suggestions.