A Conversation and Screening with Just Mercy Author Bryan Stevenson and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
WarnerMedia, The Brookings Institution, and Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University hosted a conversation and film screening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Just Mercy at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. on January 11.
Directed and co-written by Destin Daniel Cretton, Just Mercy tells the true story of attorney Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, and his fight to defend Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, a man wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The film is in theaters nationwide.
The evening’s program included remarks by the Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and President of National Action Network, Glenn Hutchins, Co-Chair of Brookings Board of Trustees, AT&T board member & founder of the Hutchins Center at Harvard and Andrew Reinsdorf, senior vice president of government relations of WarnerMedia.
Prior to the screening, there was a conversation between Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor and Director of Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
“I’ve always believed that if more people saw what I see on a regular basis, they’d want the same thing I want, a criminal justice system that is more reliable, just and fair,” said Stevenson. “I’m excited that this film gets people closer to the inequality in our system and I hope it motivates them to get involved.”
“On behalf of all of us, it is an honor to help shine a light on the issues highlighted so powerfully in Just Mercy,” said Hutchins. “The awareness sparked by this film and the work of the Equal Justice Initiative, including the participation here tonight of Mr. Stevenson, Professor Gates and Reverend Sharpton, is part of a much larger dialogue about criminal justice reform in America.”
“Brookings is very proud to stand alongside WarnerMedia and the Hutchins Center for African American Research in support of this tremendous film and all that it represents,” said John R. Allen, Brookings President. “Just Mercy tells a story that we as Americans must learn and must heed, and it is my sincere hope that it brings much-needed attention to many of the systemic issues – particularly those associated with race and criminal justice – impacting our nation today.”
About Just Mercy
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in Association with Endeavor Content/One Community/Participant Media/Macro, a Gil Netter Production, an Outlier Society Production, Just Mercy. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Karan Kendrick. Destin Daniel Cretton directed the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham, based on Bryan Stevenson’s bestselling memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. The film was produced by Gil Netter, Asher Goldstein and Michael B. Jordan. Bryan Stevenson, Mike Drake, Niija Kuykendall, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, Scott Budnick, Jeff Skoll and Charles D. King served as executive producers.