Civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, was one of four human rights defenders to win this year’s Right Livelihood Award on December 3. “I work in a country that has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. I work against a system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent,” he said in accepting the honor. “We work to overturn this horrific era of mass incarceration in America that has been brought about by the politics of fear and anger.” We feature his full acceptance speech of the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” This year it was also given to Indigenous rights and environmental activist Lottie Cunningham Wren of Nicaragua, Belarusian pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski and Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was returned to prison one day before the ceremony after being temporarily released last month due to her worsening health.
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