Kastenmeier Lecture

Bryan Stevenson Lecture at Gordon Commons, UW-Madison Law School

I had the incredibly fortunate opportunity to photograph Bryan Stevenson's lecture on Halloween and just wanted to say how powerful and educational the experience was for me. Not the photography, but Stevenson's stories and message I listened to between clicks. The University of Wisconsin Law School brought Stevenson to Madison as part of their annual Kastenmeier Lecture series. Stevenson, a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, is founder and head of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that works with clients who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes or denied adequate legal representation.

Stevenson tells stories from a slice of America I know nothing about. He works with clients who largely come from poor communities and/or communities of color, many of whom have cognitive disabilities. He explains how our American culture of mass incarceration deals with his clients largely based on their background and context, rather than on the fact of their case. Stevenson delivers this message with incredible empathy, humanity, and even, at times, great humor; I laughed many times, and starting tearing up more than once. I am humbled thinking about the incredibly important work people like Stevenson are doing, and the message he is spreading.