Skip to Content

Humanitarian, lawyer, author Bryan Stevenson to deliver LBJ Lecture

Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
January 16, 2018

Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), will deliver the LBJ Distinguished Lecture at Texas State University February 5.

The free public speech will be held at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. It is presented in conjunction with the Common Experience at Texas State.

Stevenson is considered one of the most acclaimed and respected lawyers in the nation. His memoir, Just Mercy, is the story of his fight as a young lawyer on the front lines of a country in thrall to extreme punishments and careless justice. The book is Texas State's 2017-2018 Common Experience reading selection.

Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu has called Stevenson "America's young Nelson Mandela." His work on individual cases has generated national attention and his efforts have reversed death penalties for dozens of condemned prisoners. EJI recently won a historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court, holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Stevenson's 20-minute TED Talk on the subject of injustice has been viewed more than 2.35 million times on the TED website and another 299,000 times on YouTube; The New Yorker named it one of five essential TED Talks.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1985, Stevenson moved to the South, a region on the verge of a crisis: the states were speeding up executions, but many of the condemned lacked anyone to represent them. On a shoestring budget, he started the Equal Justice Initiative, a law practice dedicated to defending some of America's most rejected and marginalized people. The cases he took on would change Stevenson's life and transform his understanding of justice and mercy forever.

Stevenson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant and the NAACP Image Award for Best Non-Fiction, and he was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People for 2015. Stevenson is a tenured law professor at New York University School of Law. Recently, he was named in Fortune's 2016 World's Greatest Leaders list.

About the LBJ Lecture

The annual Lyndon Baines Johnson Lecture, initiated in 1982 to honor the former president and Texas State graduate, recognizes the importance of education to the continuing prosperity of the nation. Through the series, Texas State works to perpetuate the former president’s high educational ideals by bringing outstanding individuals to campus to meet with students and faculty and present public lectures. Previous lecturers include former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, poet Maya Angelou, former President Gerald Ford and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.

Share this article