Race and Justice Community Book Read

Join Us For Our Community Book Read

Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

We invite you to join Syracuse University College of Law and the Onondaga County Bar Association as we and other organizations co-sponsor a series of events that focus on racial justice issues in Syracuse and Central New York.  We begin our series with the Inaugural Racial Justice Community Book Read.  Communities across the country and locally have been torn apart by the effects of institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system.  The discriminatory and disparate treatment of Black and Brown people have caused much anguish and anger and have sparked massive protests against the status quo.  The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have led to renewed protests against the policing of Black and Brown people which has resulted in many other deaths prior to these losses. The intensified calls to address racial injustice, inequality, and broader social justice concerns provide opportunities for communities to engage in conversations that can bring about knowledge, awareness, and transformation.

Our first reading selection is Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), in Montgomery, AL.  Just Mercy has been described as “a powerful true story about…the importance of confronting injustice.”  This acclaimed book has even been published in a Young Adult Version for the 12+ age group appropriate for middle schoolers! We encourage everyone across our community to read the book this summer and prepare to discuss it after the Labor Day Weekend. The book is available at libraries and wherever books are sold.  Information about the dates and details of the fall discussion events will be posted early this fall on the website and Facebook page of the Onondaga Bar Association.

We look forward to your participation in this community event!  Let’s start reading!

NOVEMBER 23:  Epilogue, and Postscript

Discuss your experience reading Just Mercy.  Were there chapters that you found particularly compelling?  Which chapters and why?

Was there a particular character in the book that you identified with or who resonated with you in other ways?

Were there examples of hope, resilience, or redemption the book?

How will you incorporate the lessons from Just Mercy into your life?

What lessons do you want your community to gain or changes you want your community to adopt based on your reading of Just Mercy?