VCU Common Book 2016-2017

Throughout the semester we will be hosting a StoryCorps-style oral history project inviting students, faculty, staff, or community members to tell stories, recall related experiences, and share their reactions to Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy or to the related events here on campus.  We will have staff on hand at Cabell Library ready to interview any interested participants. Recording will be available the following dates at the designated locations. Please email or if you are interested in scheduling an interview.

Friday, Mar 24th: 12pm-2pm [Cabell Library Workshop Recording Studio]

Thursday, Apr 13th: 11:30am-1:30pm [Location TBA]

In Partnership with VCU School of Medicine's I2CRP:

March 28: Panel Discussion on the Marshall Street Well Project and documentary "Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies"

Time TBD, Kontos Medical Sciences Building Auditorium

In partnership with the School of Medicine’s I2CRP (International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship), the Common Book Program will present a panel discussion about the Medical College of Virginia’s past treatment of African-Americans at the hospital and in the community.

Wednesday, April 12: Pop-Up exhibit of ART 180's "Performing Statistics"

Time: ALL DAY, Location: TBA

Overlapping Bryan Stevenson's visit, the Common Book Program will bring a pop-up exhibit of ART 180's "Performing Statistics," which connects incarcerated teens with artists, designers, educators, and policy advocates, with the goal of transforming the juvenile justice system.


Wednesday, April 12, 6 pm: Bryan Stevenson at the Siegel Center

This event is free and open to the public. Please see information on prohibited items in the Siegel Center here.

Author of VCU's 2016-2017 Common Book, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson will speak with VCU students, staff, and the greater Richmond community about his book and his ongoing work with the Equal Justice Initiative.

Bryan Stevenson is a civil rights lawyer and professor who has frequently and successfully argued in front of the United States Supreme Court and has received numerous awards, a few of which are the MacArthur Foundation’s Genius prize, the Olaf Palme Prize for International Human Rights, the National Medal of Liberty from the ACLU, the American Psychiatric Association’s Human Rights Award, the Alabama State Bar Commissioners Award, the Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award in Social Progress, and New York University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to and in conjunction with his legal work, Stevenson has proposed and spearheaded significant programs that seek to address and reform racial inequality, poverty, discrimination, and understanding of African-American history.

Other Upcoming Common Book Programming:

February-April: A pop-up recording booth will be available in VCU’s library and other points on campus, for students, faculty, staff and community members to tell stories, recall related experiences, and share their reactions to Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.

February-April: VCU students will work with students from Open High School, a Richmond Public School, in a peer mentoring capacity. Together, the students will work to better understand the issues presented in Just Mercy and to develop awareness of how these issues affect society and their day-to-day lives and futures. Students will direct their own explorations of possible actions they can take to promote and address these issues.

Just Mercy in the Richmond City Justice Center: The Richmond City Justice Center, in partnership with Open Minds and ASPiRE, will host reading groups comprised of VCU enrolled students and Justice Center residents. Participation is currently open only to Open Minds and ASPiRE enrolled students and residents of the Justice Center.