The Common Reading Program at Appalachian State University announces its 2019-20 book selection — Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Just Mercy details the injustices of a broken criminal justice system that punishes poor people, and Stevenson’s work to improve that system.

Appalachian will welcome the author to campus on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, when he will give an address at the Holmes Convocation Center at 7:00 p.m.  

Bryan Stevenson is a graduate of Harvard Law School and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.  Stevenson has dedicated his career as a public interest lawyer to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned.  The Equal Justice Initiative has exonerated innocent death row prisoners, won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, aided children prosecuted as adults, and opposed the abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill. Stevenson successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.  

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Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. This program is an exciting facet in Appalachian's orientation of new students to life on our campus.