Bryan Stevenson, one of the country’s most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates, is driven by the belief that our society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members. In 1989 he founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.
EJI won a historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Bryan has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.
Bryan is a founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S. He recently served on President Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government and has been awarded 21 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of the award-winning New York Times best-seller, Just Mercy. In 2015, he was named to the TIME 100 list, recognizing the world’s most influential people, and recently made the Fortune‘s 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders list.