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One Book One Northwestern

2020-21 One Book Selection

"Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson

The Office of the President & One Book One Northwestern are excited to announce Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption will be the reading selection for the 2020-2021 school year. 

 Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the One Book One Northwestern Keynote with Bryan Stevenson has been postponed to the 2021-2022 academic year. We look forward to engaging the Northwestern community with the themes of this work and are excited for Stevenson to join us when it is safe for him to do so.

Welcome Message from Jennifer Lackey

Welcome to One Book One Northwestern 2020-2021! This year’s selection of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy challenges us to examine and confront the systemic racism, inequities, and moral failures of the United States criminal justice system. Perhaps now more than ever, Stevenson’s voice needs to be heard. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and other Black Americans at the hands of police violence have ignited a global reckoning with America’s pernicious investment in policing, criminalization, and incarceration. The failure to adequately address the COVID-19 crisis, especially as it devastated vulnerable communities, including prison populations, revealed the nation’s prioritizing of some lives over others. But Stevenson calls us forward to a better, fairer world—one that is more just in being more merciful. As a nation, we can divest from the systems that have led to this national crisis and invest in the values that will truly make our communities flourish, such as education, healthcare, and support services. As we read Just Mercy together this year, let’s accept Stevenson’s invitation to rethink what justice demands and, in so doing, to reimagine what is possible.


Trailer for NPEP Documentary

Jennifer Lackey is the Director of Northwestern’s Prison Education Program (NPEP). Watch this trailer to learn more about the program and visit the NPEP website to watch the full film.

Blog Articles

Blog Articles
Blog Articles
Read the latest blog articles written by our student fellows about Just Mercy!

Upcoming Events

The Afterlives of Coral or The Persistence of Colonial Violence. A Talk by Ayana Flewellen.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Drive

Please join us for this talk by Ayana Flewellen of Stanford University. Lunch provided. Mined coral lays at the foundati...


One Book Director

One Book Director

During her tenure, Nancy Cunniff has elevated the “One Book” brand to become a signature University program involving the entire campus.

Meet Nancy Cunniff
One Book Faculty Chair

One Book Faculty Chair

Jennifer Lackey, the Director of the Northwestern Prison Education Program and the Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy will serve as the One Book Faculty Chair.

Meet Jennifer Lackey

Student Fellows and Ambassadors

The One Book fellows and ambassadors are integral to the running of the One Book program. The fellows are paid to help run the office on a weekly basis by working on the newsletter, website, social media and marketing.  The ambassadors assist with events throughout the academic year as needed.  All students contribute to the blog and are readers of several books for the selection of next year’s common read program.

Meet our Student Fellows

Meet our Student Ambassadors