Selection Committee

Chirayu Baral, Class of 2019

Stephanie BradyDirector of Parent Giving and Senior Leadership Gift Officer

“I cannot think of a better way of capturing the essence of Bates i.e. wanting to make an impact, sense of greater community and equality than by what is represented in Just Mercy. It is an inspirational story about passionate commitment to making a difference in the lives of others who lack access to adequate legal resources and have the odds stacked against them. Bryan Stevenson’s passion and persistence in righting the wrongs of our legal system are a remarkable testament to who he is; it is definitely a story worth sharing.”

Nina Flores, Class of 2020

Rebecca Fraser-Thill, Director of Program Design for Purposeful Work,;Lecturer, Department of Psychology

Margaret Imber, Associate Dean of Faculty; Associate Professor, Department of Classical and Medieval Studies

Bella Miller, Class of 2018

Carrie Murphey ’06, Assistant Dean of Students for First-Year Programs

Molly Newton ’11, Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life and Health Education

Jessica Perez, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Transition and Support

“It’s so important to learn about the systems in this country that perpetuate injustice.  Yet, it’s often deeply disheartening to spend time with these subjects.  One of the wonderful reasons to read this book is that you can develop an understanding of what is happening while learning about it from someone who is dedicating his life to righting those wrongs.

I first read this book in 2014, and the stories are still very much with me.  Bryan Stevenson depicts the individuals with such humanity that it is impossible to forget them.  Whether the experiences of the people in the book are familiar to you or entirely new, I hope they can help you see how every law, policy, and system shapes the lives of real people.”

Nevo Polonsky ’17, Coordinator of Campus Life and Residential Programming

Dan Sanford, Director of Academic Resource Commons and Writing at Bates

Just Mercy deals with themes– justice, life choices, compassion– that are always important, but which are incredibly resonant and important to the current national moment. I find it to be a remarkable text in the way that it engages with some of the most troubling issues of our time and nation, which also being such an incredibly compelling and inspiring read. I admire the text as a piece of writing craft that showcases the creating and narrative possibilities of non-fiction, and demonstrates the use of writing as a tool for exploration and personal discovery.”

K. Ian Shin, Lecturer/C3 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History

“I recommend Just Mercy because it prompts us to think about racism in an intersectional way; that is, in conjunction with issues of class, gender, etc. that goes beyond a simplistic understanding of how and why the criminal justice system fails so many Americans.”