‘Just Mercy’ Lawyer Calls Upon America To Find The Moral Courage To Reckon With Its Racist Past & Present



Fresh Air (1/20/20)

Public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons. In 2018, EJI founded a museum and monument in Montgomery, Ala., to address the atrocities of slavery, lynching and segregation. “We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say ‘Never again,'” he says.

Stevenson’s 2014 memoir ‘Just Mercy’ is now a movie starring Michael B. Jordan.

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  • From The 60 Minutes Archives: The True Story Behind “Just Mercy” — In 1992, Ed Bradley reported that the wrong man might have been sitting on Alabama’s death row. “Just Mercy,” a movie about the case, opens in theaters this week. Link To 15-Minute Video


Equal Justice Initiative Opens New Legacy Pavilion in Montgomery


Equal Justice Initiative (1/18/20)

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Legacy Pavilion at 400 N. Court Street in Montgomery, Alabama—just a few blocks from our Legacy Museum. The Pavilion will open to the public on Saturday, January 18, in time for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.

Our new Pavilion includes exhibitions that help visitors reflect on and engage with an often overlooked history that has shaped Montgomery and the country as a whole. The space includes a welcome center, ticket office, gift shop, cafe, a new Southern cuisine restaurant from two award-winning local chefs, and free parking for visitors.

The Legacy Pavilion will feature a monument to women, men, and children who were victims of racial terror lynchings in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War and during Reconstruction. The monument memorializes over 2,000 people who were lynched between 1865 and 1876. This new monument connects to two other prominent EJI memorials in Montgomery: the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which documents the era of racial terror lynchings between 1877 and 1950, and the Monument at the Peace and Justice Memorial Center, which honors victims of racial terror lynchings or violence during the 1950s.

The Legacy Pavilion honors local civil rights figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Claudette Colvin, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Jonathan Daniels, Jo Ann Robinson, and E.D. Nixon, and helps visitors understand the unique role Montgomery played in fueling a civil rights movement that continues to reverberate around the world.

The Pavilion will serve as a welcome center for our Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Our ticket office and gift shop, currently on Coosa Street, will relocate to the new building. Pannie-George’s Kitchen, a soul food restaurant run by award-winning chefs from Auburn, Alabama, provides a new and outstanding dining option for visitors and locals in downtown Montgomery. The Pavilion parking lot will provide additional parking spaces for guests and serve as a hub for our shuttle between the sites.

We’re excited to add a wonderful new space to our memorial and museum that will provide more convenience, comfort, and food to the thousands of people who continue to visit the sites. And we are very proud to present new content about America’s history that is essential for understanding our past and improving our future.

Our National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration opened to widespread acclaim in April 2018. Our Peace and Justice Memorial Center opened in April 2019. The spaces are part of our work to advance truth and justice in America and to more honestly confront the legacy of slavery, lynching, and segregation. Over 650,000 people have visited these sites since they opened.

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