By: Caison Gray
I attended the Bryan Stevenson lecture. I was very excited to witness Mr. Stevenson speak after our trip to Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson did not disappoint and gave a lecture that I believe truly mattered. I believe Mr. Stevenson’s goal of the lecture was to provide students with ideas and information that could not only help them confront and understand racial injustice, but to move forward and counteract racism’s harmful effects.
In order to make his lecture truly make an impact, Mr. Stevenson broke it up into four points. The first point highlighted the importance of becoming proximate. Mr. Stevenson elaborated by stating how you cannot work against ideas and institutions if you do not confront them personally. It is impossible to help people that you do not understand or interact with. The second point highlighted the general narrative surrounding race that currently exists in America, and how it needs to be changed. The idea that there is a difference between white people and nonwhite people started as a justification for slavery and has existed in America ever since. We must work to change the narrative in order to begin moving forward. The third point highlighted the importance of hope in dark, difficult times. Becoming negative and giving up is the easy route, but having hope is the way to create a positive change. The final point highlighted the fact that in most situations, you must be prepared to be in uncomfortable situations in order to move. Creating change requires saying and doing thinks that feel uncomfortable and difficult.
Mr. Stevenson emphasized the fact that we are facing an epidemic of incarceration. Bryan Stevenson said “I represent the broken. I come from a broken system.” Determination and persistence is required, especially from the young people, if we want to make a change to the narrative.