I first became aware of Equal Justice Initiative when I read Just Mercy. I had heard other activists speak reverently about this book by Bryan Stevenson. The book chronicles his move to Alabama to start an organization to defend poor people battling a racist justice system and free those who have been wrongfully convicted. It’s a searing indictment of our criminal justice system and a beautiful meditation on the concept of mercy and how it should infuse our culture and our approach to criminal justice.
The more I learn about EJI and Stevenson, the more impressed I become. In addition to their work to fight mass incarceration and ongoing racial injustice, they have taken up the important work of memorializing the history of lynching and forcing this country to reckon with its inhumane past. I recently saw Stevenson speak on a wonderful panel featuring one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and the Equal Justice Society, and he spoke eloquently on topics ranging from police brutality to reparations to ending the death penalty.
The stories in Stevenson’s book about gross miscarriages of justice were enough to make me want to throw money at EJI. But it’s the impressive commitment to maximizing limited resources to saves lives; the commitment to the humanity of all people, including those subject to mass incarceration; and an inspiring vision for how we change the future that ensure me that donating is a worthwhile investment. You can learn more about EJI and donate here.