Bryan Stevenson and Anthony Ray Hinton Speak at Emory University: An Evening I Will Never Forget

Before social justice activist, lawyer, and award-winning author Bryan Stevenson ever arrived at Emory University, his presence was strongly felt on campus. His book Just Mercy was this year’s selection for Emory’s Common Reading Program; Emory sponsored numerous trips to The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, both of which Stevenson founded; and Stevenson and Just Mercy were topics of discussion in many Emory classes, a fact that I can personally attest to.

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Cognitive Dissonance

I was a psychology major. I didn’t particularly like my classes, and I often wish I would’ve switched to sociology or English or linguistics or really anything else, but I stuck with psychology.  As a result, I find myself in this constant feedback loop between theory and practice. I apply psychological theories to my 7th grade students, to my 50-something year-old parents, to my 18 year-old brother, to my 20-and-30-something year old peers, and (if you know me, you saw this coming) to myself. I’m constantly trying to make sense of human behavior. I think understanding our psychological motivations gives me a little more hope for humanity. And somehow, it makes me feel like I have more control, too.

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