‘The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth—it is justice,” said Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama, Saturday night at the Ware Lecture at General Assembly 2017 in New Orleans. He received a standing and thunderous ovation that lasted over a minute at the conclusion of his remarks. Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned, gave UUs clear direction on the work that must be done to create a more just world, including fully accepting our history as a racist society.
“I’m not interested in punishing America for this history—I want to liberate America,” Stevenson said, because on the other side of confession comes freedom.
Bryan Stevenson is author of Just Mercy, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller and the UU “Common Read” for 2015-16.