Loyola University Maryland


Common Text Events

Each year, the University chooses a Common Text for all first-year students to read before arriving at Loyola. In addition to discussing this Common Text with your academic advisor and other students enrolled in your Messina course during Welcome Weekend, Messina sponsors events throughout the year to address themes raised by the book. 

Below is a listing of events connected to the 2017-2018 Common Text, Just Mercy.   A listing of 2018-2019 events connected to James Baldwin’s The Fire This Time will be posted  late August. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dinner & A Movie at Belvedere Square – To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson shares the story of Walter McMillan, a resident Monroe County, Alabama wrongly accused of murder.  Monroe County was also the home of Harper Lee, author of the 1960s national bestseller,  To Kill A Mockingbird.   Production of film version of the book brought actor Gregory Peck to Monroe Country and to this day, the book (and movie) are immortalized in a local museum.    Stevenson writes, “Lee’s endearing characters, Atticus Finch and his precocious daughter, Scout, captivated readers while confronting them with some of the realities of race and justice in the South.” (p.23)   Come watch the 1962 movie at The Senator, one of Baltimore’s historic theaters located less than a mile from campus on York Road.  Admission to the movie is free with a Loyola ID.  All attending are also encouraged to take advantage of the shops and eateries on York Road and Belvedere Square before and after the movie.  Discounts will be available at select eateries when you show your Loyola ID.    This event is offered as part of Initium Week in conjunction with Messina Common Text Event Series.

7 p.m. (movie start time)
The Senator Theater, 5904 York Road

A shuttle bus will leave the Library parking lot starting at 5:00pm to bring folks from campus to the Senator Theatre and Belvedere Square.  The bus will continue on a continuous loop between the Library and The Senator with the final bus leaving The Senator at 10:00pm.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stories from Maximum Security: Education with a Difference

6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
4th Floor Program Room

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Movie Screening: 13th

In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. 

7 - 9 p.m.
Location TBA

Thursday, November 16, 2017

From Serving Time to Serving Others: A Panel on Prison Reform

Learn from people who experienced the criminal justice system and who work to decrease recidivism rates and provide workforce development right here in Baltimore. John Huffington, Director of Living Classrooms Project SERVE, an organization that provides on-the-job training for 150 unemployed and disadvantaged young adults per year while they revitalize Baltimore neighborhoods, will be joined by John Jones and Karriem S. El-Amin, both returning citizens now employed as Case Managers for Project SERVE for a panel discussion on criminal justice reform. The panel, focusing on the criminal justice system and the challenges faced by people reentering society, will be moderated by Loyola students, followed by an open Q & A session with the audience.

6 p.m.
McGuire Hall

Monday, March 19, 2017

Common Text Keynote: "American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity and Making a Difference" with Bryan Stevenson

America has the largest prison population in the world – and the criminal justice system that puts the men, women, and children in these prisons is broken. Excessive punishment and abuse are widespread, and the collateral consequences are devastating lives and communities. An inspiring and unflinchingly honest speaker, Bryan Stevenson talks about defending some of America’s most rejected and marginalized people. The stories he tells are heartbreaking, yet inspiring, and motivate audiences to make a change.

Bryan Stevenson is one of the country's most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates. A MacArthur fellow and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is a founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S. He recently served on President Obama's task force on 21st-century policing.

6 p.m.
Reitz Arena

Monday, March 26, 2017

"Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues" with Sister Helen Prejean

7 p.m.
McGuire Hall

Persons with disabilities who may require special services should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 410-617-2062 at least 48 hours prior to the event. As noted below, some of these events are free and open to the public.


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