Campus Commentary Event #1- Bryan Stevenson – Jamie Aciukewicz

Last week in attended the talk Bryan Stevenson gave in the Belk Arena. Mr. Stevenson is a wonderfully engaging speaker, keeping the attention of the audience throughout his hour and fifteen minutes on the stage. He talked about the timeline of slavery to mass incarceration, which was the biggest takeaway from the Legacy Museum that EJI created and that we saw in Montgomery, Alabama. The museum gave a lot of context to what he spoke about, making me quite happy that we had attended the museum prior to his visit. He also talked about the importance of questioning, especially when it comes to narratives fed to us, which I think goes hand in hand with the unit we are wrapping up.  

Community Event #1- Bryan StevensonAfter reading his book and visiting Montgomery, I was very excited about his visit, and it definitely lived up to the hype. Most of the stories he told on stage also appeared in his book, but because he is so engaging, I did not mind hearing the story a second time. The stories are his personal experience and so it is no surprise that he talked about what he knows. A major point in his speech was about getting proximate with those who are suffering as this education allows you to affirm the humanity and dignity of others. He also mentioned hope as an important tool when looking for change and said that hopelessness is part of the problem. He ended his talk with a call to “keep beating the drum for justice” which I think was a hopeful way to end such a talk. Super grateful to have the opportunity to hear him speak in person, especially after reading his book and visiting the sites in Montgomery.  

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