Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

Law School commencement

Speak up!

Use your diplomas as microphones to speak up in the face of “appalling silences,’’ Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative, told the 280 graduating members of the School of Law.

“There is power in identity,’’ he said. “If we say something with the identity that we have, we can change the way people think, we can change the way people behave.’’ He told a story about a racist and abusive prison guard who eventually came to treat Stevenson respectfully after hearing him passionately defend an unfairly treated client in court. “Nothing is impossible if you speak up,’’ Stevenson said.

The law school’s 98th commencement took place on Saturday, May 23, in the Mission Gardens, with about 3,500 family, friends, and supporters of the Class of 2009.

Deborah Lohse

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