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Photo by Don J. Usner

Bryan Stevenson

Photo by Don J. Usner

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the United States Supreme Court. He and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced. He has also initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge inequality in America. He led the creation of two highly acclaimed cultural sites which opened in 2018: the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which chronicle the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Stevenson's 2014 book, was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post. He is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.

Prizes, Awards & Fellowships
  • 2014 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize