Bellarmine University will commemorate Constitution Day with a discussion about criminal justice reform on Tuesday, September 17.
Ernie Lewis, executive director of the National Association for Public Defense
, will address challenges facing the U.S. criminal justice system in racial equity and in fairness for those who cannot afford an attorney.
Following remarks by Lewis, three local community groups will discuss their work to pursue criminal justice reform:
- YMCA Safe Place Service's Y-NOW program
- The Bail Project's Louisville office
- Restorative Justice Louisville
The free, public event takes place at 6 p.m. in the Cralle Theater, part of Bellarmine's Wyatt Center for the Arts. [campus map
The topic connects with Bellarmine's book in common
being used by all first-year students, "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. That book offers opportunities for students to consider and address current issues related to race, poverty, privilege,
spirituality, morality and justice.
Constitution Day is celebrated annually on September 17 to honor the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. In 2004, Congress introduced legislation directing all educational institutions receiving federal funds to host an educational
program in the week surrounding Constitution Day.
This year, the U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging communities across the nation to use Constitution Day to begin preparing for the 2020 Census, when everyone in the U.S. will be counted as part of a constitutional requirement.