The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.
EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. They are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning wall calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice, and we recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.
EJI designed A History of Racial Injustice as a set of tools for learning more about people and events in American history that are critically important but not well known. This digital experience highlights events on this day in history with rich detail and intuitive sharing features, and our award-winning wall calendar is a tactile resource for display in classrooms, community centers, offices, and homes.
Soka University of America had the pleasure of hosting Bryan Stevenson, EJI's founder, as part of the series Critical Conversations @Soka. For more information on Stevenson's work as well as topics covered in his talk "Race, Justice, and Mercy: Can They Co-exist in America?" see our Critical Conversations with Bryan Stevenson LibGuide.