Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Charlottesville, VA—The Virginia Festival of the Book, a program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will present Bryan Stevenson, one of the most essential African American voices of our time, at The Paramount Theater on Saturday, March 19 at 8:00 PM. Following Stevenson’s presentation, acclaimed author John Grisham will join him on stage for a discussion.

Author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Stevenson is executive director of Equal Justice Initiative and a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 21 honorary doctorate degrees. 

Stevenson will speak about his experiences as a social justice lawyer and how these continue to influence his life-long work to support criminal justice system reform as well as anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts. An outspoken advocate and thoughtful leader, Stevenson challenges the legacy of racial inequality in the United States, asking Americans to reconsider issues of justice and compassion. 

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu describes Stevenson’s book as, “Gripping… What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation.” 

Tickets for this program are available for purchase at ($17.50 for adults, $6.50 for students).

Ticket holders for this event will enjoy an exclusive prix fixe dinner menu at Bizou restaurant before the program on Saturday, March 19. The menu will include appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $24. More details are at

The program is sponsored by: LexisNexis, The Project on Lived Theology, Paul and Susan Yesawich, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, U.Va. Office for Diversity and Equity, U.Va. Department of Politics, American Forum at the Miller Center, and an anonymous donor.

The program is co-hosted by the following organizations: 100 Black Men of Charlottesville; Albemarle-Charlottesville Branch, NAACP; American Forum at the Miller Center; Carter Woodson Institute at U.Va.; Charlottesville Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Library Committee; Charlottesville chapter, Links, Inc.; John Grisham; Jefferson School African American Heritage Center; The Project on Lived Theology; Sojourners United Church of Christ, Racial Justice Committee; U.Va. Center for the Study of Religion; U.Va. Department of History; U.Va. Department of Politics; U.Va. Office for Diversity and Equity; U.Va. School of Law; Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center; Virginia Center for the Study of Religion; Virginia Organizing; and Virginia Quarterly Review.