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Reduced Inequalities: Bryan Stevenson

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    Maria Roy

    Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer, social justice activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to challenging racial and economic injustice in the United States. Born in 1959 in Delaware, Stevenson grew up in a racially segregated community and witnessed firsthand the impact of poverty and discrimination on marginalized communities.

    After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1985, Stevenson began his career as a lawyer, specializing in representing individuals on death row and those unfairly sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. He became known for his tireless advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities and his commitment to challenging systemic injustice.

    In 1989, Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative with the goal of providing legal representation to individuals who had been wrongfully convicted or unfairly sentenced. The organization also works to confront issues such as mass incarceration, racial bias in the criminal justice system, and the legacy of slavery and segregation.

    One of Stevenson’s most notable successes came in 2012 with the landmark Supreme Court case Miller v. Alabama, in which the Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional. This ruling was a significant step towards addressing the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on young people of color.

    Stevenson’s work has earned him numerous awards and honors, including the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant,” and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His memoir, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” became a bestseller and was adapted into a critically acclaimed film.

    Through his advocacy and leadership, Bryan Stevenson has made a lasting impact on the fight against inequality and injustice. His work has inspired millions of people around the world to confront systemic injustice and work towards a more fair and equitable society.

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