George Lucas

Social justice lawyer tells Johns Hopkins University graduates to go 'change the world'

Social justice lawyer tells Johns Hopkins University graduates to go 'change the world'

When 1,500 Johns Hopkins University students crossed the stage Thursday at Royal Farms Arena, their commencement speaker told them they were receiving more than a piece of paper.

“Your degree now authorizes you to change the world,” said Bryan Stevenson, an activist and lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama nonprofit that provides legal help to indigent defendants and prisoners.

Stevenson told the graduates they must take what they’ve learned at the research university and funnel it into struggling neighborhoods in this city and others.

He urged them not to become “indifferent to the problems that surround them,” citing issues of mass incarceration,...

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