Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Someone we should all be listening to: Bryan Stevenson

Today I was in my car running some pre-Thanksgiving errands and listening to Minnesota Public Radio between stops. I was absolutely blown away by a speech they were airing and kept wondering "who IS this guy?" It wasn't until the end that I heard it was Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Once I got home, I located the speech on MPR and listened to the whole thing uninterrupted.

I know you are all going to be busy with family and loved ones over the next few days. But if you have an hour to spare, I can't imagine a better way to spend it that listening to this one. Here's a link where you can do that.

Bryan tackles all the difficult issues we face in this country around race and the law enforcement/criminal justice system. But he doesn't just bring facts and he doesn't simply fuel our rage. He inspires with his heart and his own stories. In a most meaningful way, he tells us what we can all do to make a difference. Prepare yourself...these are no easy, quick-fix answers (there's a reason we call it "the struggle"). But I promise that you will not regret a single minute you spend listening to what he has to say.

I first became aware of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) years ago when I was appalled by the fact that we live in the only country in the world that sentences children/youth to die in prison.  EJI has been on the forefront of raising awareness about this and fighting it in our courts. These are the kinds of things to which Bryan has dedicated his life and work. Perhaps that's why he doesn't spend as much of his time pontificating in front of a camera. He's been in the trenches and brings that kind of perspective to us.

I suspect there are people like Bryan Stevenson working in the trenches all over this country. That's what brings me hope.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nancy. My husband and I listened to the speech yesterday leaving the Twin Cities for Iowa. Absolutely gave us hope, while educating us to the RAW realites. What a dynamic, inspiring Soul.

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