Virginia Festival of the Book to Host Acclaimed Social Justice Advocate Bryan Stevenson

African American Heritage | Books & Literature

Bryan Stevenson - Photo by Nina Subin
Bryan Stevenson - Photo by Nina Subin

Bryan Stevenson - Photo by Nina Subin
Bryan Stevenson – Photo by Nina Subin

The Virginia Festival of the Book, a program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will present Bryan Stevenson, one of the most essential African American voices of our time, at The Paramount Theater on Saturday, March 19 at 8:00 PM. Following Stevenson’s presentation, acclaimed author John Grisham will join him on stage for a discussion.

Author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Stevenson is executive director of Equal Justice Initiative and a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 21 honorary doctorate degrees.

Stevenson will speak about his experiences as a social justice lawyer and how these continue to influence his life-long work to support criminal justice system reform as well as anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts. An outspoken advocate and thoughtful leader, Stevenson challenges the legacy of racial inequality in the United States, asking Americans to reconsider issues of justice and compassion.

Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu describes Stevenson’s book as, “Gripping… What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation.” 

Tickets for this program are available for purchase at VaBook.org ($17.50 for adults, $6.50 for students).

Ticket holders for this event will enjoy an exclusive prix fixe dinner menu at Bizou restaurant before the program on Saturday, March 19. The menu will include appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $24. More details are at VaBook.org.

The program is sponsored by: LexisNexis, The Project on Lived Theology, Paul and Susan Yesawich, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, U.Va. Office for Diversity and Equity, U.Va. Department of Politics, American Forum at the Miller Center, and an anonymous donor.

The program is co-hosted by the following organizations: 100 Black Men of Charlottesville; Albemarle-Charlottesville Branch, NAACP; American Forum at the Miller Center; Carter Woodson Institute at U.Va.; Charlottesville Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Library Committee; Charlottesville chapter, Links, Inc.; John Grisham; Jefferson School African American Heritage Center; The Project on Lived Theology; Sojourners United Church of Christ, Racial Justice Committee; U.Va. Center for the Study of Religion; U.Va. Department of History; U.Va. Department of Politics; U.Va. Office for Diversity and Equity; U.Va. School of Law; Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center; Virginia Center for the Study of Religion; Virginia Organizing; and Virginia Quarterly Review.

About the Virginia Festival of the Book

A signature program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Virginia Center for the Book, the Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together in Charlottesville, VA, for a five-day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, StoryFest programs for children, and more. The twenty-second annual Festival will be held March 16-20, 2016. The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has consistently attracted audiences of more than 20,000 from more than forty states each spring, with an estimated local economic impact of about $4 million annually. To learn more, visit VaBook.org.

About VFH

The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through Community Programs, Digital Initiatives, Scholarship, and the Virginia Center for the Book. For more information, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.