by Beth McCaw
President of Washington Women’s Foundation
“Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes.” – Bryan Stevenson in Just Mercy.
On May 18, I gathered with a group of WWF members and their guests at the Seattle Public Library to discuss this year’s Member Engagement Committee book selection, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Much of our discussion focused on the discriminatory impact of systems, and specifically the criminal justice system, on low-income people of color.
Here’s a little background for those who haven’t read the book: Mr. Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. Just Mercy weaves together the stories of the poor, incarcerated and condemned men, women and children helped by Mr. Stevenson and EJI.