Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin presented the key to the city to Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights leader who has committed his career aiding the poor, incarcerated and the condemned.
Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. During his time working with the Initiative, he and his staff have won victories in a number of legal battles that have limited excessive and unfair sentencing and even exonerated innocent prisoners who are on death row. Stevenson also led efforts to confront the abuse of incarcerated inmates as well as the mentally ill while helping children who were prosecuted as adults.
The official description of the event reads:
“Mr. Stevenson will speak at The Township Auditorium regarding his battles and victories in the justice system. He will share his unique and hopeful vision towards a more just and equitable America. The night will include opening remarks by Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, music by DJ Liv, a Q&A session with Mr. Stevenson, and a historical photography exhibit curated by the Center for Civil Rights History and Research of the University of South Carolina.”