Equal Justice Initiative founder to receive Thurgood Marshall Award

The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor Alabama lawyer Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, with its Thurgood Marshall Award. The award, which recognizes members of the legal profession for their long-term contributions to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States, will be presented at the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer, has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He has successfully argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court, including the historic ruling banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger.

Under Stevenson's leadership, the Equal Justice Initiative has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts challenging the legacy of racial inequality in America. 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.

Among Stevenson's recognitions, he has been awarded with the ABA Wisdom Award for Public Service, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award Prize, the Olaf Palme International Prize, the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, the National Public Interest Lawyer of the Year Award, the Gruber Prize for International Justice and the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award.

Stevenson, a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, has been awarded 21 honorary doctorate degrees and is also a professor of law at the New York University School of Law. He is the recent author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, "Just Mercy," which was named by Time magazine as one of the 10 best books of nonfiction for 2014, and has been awarded several honors including the Carnegie Medal by the American Library Association for the best nonfiction book of 2014 and a 2015 NAACP Image Award.

Published: Tue, Aug 02, 2016


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