During their time on campus, the Class of 2021 will join the Loyola community to explore what it means to be an Ignatian Citizen. The Loyola University Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 describes Ignatian citizens as people who "think of themselves as part of something larger, as responsible for the betterment of our shared world; as men and women who think and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed” As citizens living and learning in Baltimore in 2017, we must grapple with the gritty realities that contribute to systemic inequality in our city and beyond. To that end, we have selected Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy as the 2017-18 Loyola Common Text.
Just Mercy is a compelling account of lawyer who defends “the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those trapped in the furthest reaches of our criminal justice system.” Stevenson pairs personal accounts of people enduring lifelong convictions with research that demonstrates how race, class and power contribute to proliferation of the largest prison population in the world.
Loyola faculty members, administrators and students chose this book largely because of the powerful questions it raises about fairness and justice in a democratic society. Opportunities for us to engage in interdisciplinary discussions about civil rights, social activism, crime, equality, poverty, and mental health issues abound. Furthermore, Stevenson challenges us to consider our role in advocating for positive change.
Just Mercy promises an introduction to the depth of thought, imagination, and challenge you can expect from your time at Loyola. We look forward to reading along with you and entering into a conversation that enlightens and enriches your experience.
Members of the Class of 2021 will receive a copy of Just Mercy during summer orientation and discuss it throughout their first-year on the Evergreen campus.