The Big Read Keynote Address by Sister Helen Prejean
Date and Time
Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Shiley Theatre, Camino Hall
The Big Read initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. This year's selection is A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, a painful yet inspirational tale of institutional injustice and personal redemption. It addresses the biggest theme possible-how one affirms life in the face of death.
As part of the USD participation in the Big Read, CEE presents Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, with the keynote address. Join us for a post-lecture reception in Camino courtyard.
Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison.
Her first book, Dead Man Walking, was an international bestseller and was developed into a major motion picture. Sister Helen’s second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, published in December 2004, tells the story of two men whom she accompanied to their executions. Sister Helen examines how flaws inextricably entwined in the death penalty system inevitably lead to innocent people being executed and render the system unworkable.
Co-sponsored by The Black Storytellers of San Diego, Inc. and the Center for Educational Excellence.