As Mr. Chris Vicknair noted in our daily school-wide morning prayer, “Our school community embarks on a journey… a journey of justice... a journey that will have us examining our criminal justice system... a journey that just may open our eyes to see situations in a new light… a journey that will touch our hearts with love and compassion asking us not to be so judgemental… this will be a journey of mercy. Our journey begins with our Great Read, a book entitled Just Mercy.”
Each year, Brother Martin selects one novel that our entire school community, students along with faculty and staff, read together and take away an important message. Just Mercy a memoir, personalizes the struggle against injustice in the story of one activist lawyer - Bryan Stevenson. The narrative’s backbone is the story of Walter McMillian, who Stevenson began representing in the late 1980s while he was on death row. Our school community will focus on the following topics while reading Just Mercy and the roles that they play in our society today: the death penalty, mass incarceration, and juvenile sentencing.
Most importantly, Just Mercy will teach our Brother Martin school community lessons that stress the values of: servant leadership, respect, perseverance, compassion, hopefulness, and justice.
Our Brothers of the Sacred Heart founder, Fr. André Coindre modeled the following statement that was written by author Bryan Stevenson, “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, disfavored, the accused, and condemned.” We live by these words at Brother Martin and hope to take away a deeper message through reading Just Mercy together for this year’s Great Read.