N.C. A&T Selects Stevenson’s “Just Mercy” as 2021 Text-in-Community Read

By Jamie Crockett / 09/10/2021 Student Affairs, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Text-in-Community (TIC) program has selected attorney and best-selling author Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” as the campus read for the 2021-22 academic year.

The book will generate meaningful engagement and programming, including a screening of the film adaptation of the same name, incorporating the text within selected courses, discussing relevant themes through online blog contributions and panel presentations, in addition to a virtual event featuring Stevenson as the keynote speaker. The F.D. Bluford Library has also curated an accompanying subject guide.

“This story is a shining example of how belief and perseverance can move the needle toward a more just society,” said Beverly Grier, Ph.D., TIC committee chair. “In 2019, our university hosted an advanced screening of the film starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, and we are very pleased to officially engage campuswide with the book that sparked its creation.”

“Just Mercy” is a true story highlighting the early years of Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery, Alabama-based nonprofit law office committed to defending clients like Walter McMillian, a Black man held on death row 15 months prior to standing trial and wrongfully convicted of murdering a white woman in 1988. McMillian was sentenced despite an absence of physical evidence and a solid alibi.

A&T established the TIC program in 2003 with an intentional focus on activities that would facilitate important and relevant conversations across the campus community. The first TIC read, “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. DuBois, renewed discussions on the progress, obstacles and future opportunities associated with the African American experience 100 years after its publication date.

This year’s selection underscores the university’s ties and commitment to social justice, after marking the 61st anniversary of four A&T students’ peaceful demonstration at a “Whites Only” lunch counter, sparking a national sit-in movement.

A&T’s previous campus reads include:

  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
  • “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” by Wes Moore
  • “Mens et Manus: A Pictorial History of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University” by Teresa Styles and Valerie Nieman
  • “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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