Awarding the Inaugural James Baldwin Prize to

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson.jpg

Bryan Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Mr. Stevenson is founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

Mr. Stevenson is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy, which was adapted as a major motion picture. He also led the creation of two celebrated cultural sites that opened in 2018: the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

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Since its founding in 1958, East Harlem Tutorial Program has been grounded in the power of the written word. Literature sparks the imagination, speaks to the heart, and opens the mind. It ignites possibility in the classroom and beyond. It challenges the status quo, and it incites us to transform the world.

In creating the James Baldwin Award, we pay homage to an East Harlem hero and a world treasure, whose literary genius paved the way for generations to come and celebrate the writers and activists who assume the mantle of the written word to build love, equity, and justice.

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