The University of Richmond will host Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy,” as this year’s One Book, One Richmond keynote speaker on Feb. 29 from 6-7 p.m. in the Modlin Center for the Arts, Camp Concert Hall. A reception and book signing will follow the event in Booth Lobby.

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are no longer available. Limited seating on a first come, first serve basis will be available the night of the event. Seating for this event is limited and tickets are required to attend. Free tickets can be obtained through the Modlin Center Box Office beginning Feb. 15 for members of the UR community and Feb. 22 for the general public.

Stevenson is a human rights lawyer and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Among other venues, Stevenson has spoken on this topic in a TED talk, on “The Daily Show” and on The Oprah Winfrey Network.

“Just Mercy” is a powerful portrait of death row inmates Stevenson has defended, including the wrongfully convicted, juvenile offenders, poor inmates with ineffective representation and others impeded by racial bias and prosecutorial misconduct. According to Stevenson’s website, the book offers an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.

One Book, One Richmond is a campus-wide effort led by the Office of the Chaplaincy. It began ten years ago to encourage the UR and wider community to read and discuss a chosen book on a social justice issue. A committee of students, faculty and staff selects the book each year based on nominations from the community.

“Many college campuses have common reading programs, but One Book, One Richmond’s focus on social justice issues makes it unique and special,” said Molly Field, community engagement program manager and event organizer. “We invite the campus and greater community to read books tackling tough issues, which results in some amazing conversations.”

“Just Mercy has been an incredible and timely book for our campus this year as it has sparked dialogue about justice, law, faith and everything in between,” Field added.

An estimated 600 people are participating in this year’s One Book, One Richmond program.

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