Book club brings students together to discuss death penalty

Author: Kevin Fye

Book Club

Student affiliates at the Klau Center gathered online recently to discuss Sr. Helen Prejean’s groundbreaking 1993 memoir, Dead Man Walking. The book served as another touchstone in the center’s yearlong engagement with death penalty issues. Book clubs from the fall semester focused on Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.

Calling in to discuss were affiliates from across the spectrum at the Klau Center: undergraduate Grace Scartz studies civil and human rights through the Keough School Supplementary Major; Sofia Piecuch is a master of global affairs student at the Keough School, and an advocate for children’s rights; and Ilana Rothkopf is a doctoral student in political science, whose work focuses on armed conflict.

The ability to bring together a diverse group of students – whether on campus or online – is central to the Klau Center’s mission, notes Associate Director Dory Mitros Durham. “We like to gather the greatest possible variety of viewpoints,” she notes. “One of the great things a community like ours can offer is the chance to listen to others whose experience is different, and whose take on a subject like the death penalty can push us to reexamine our own thoughts.”

A campus visit by Sr. Helen, originally planned for March, is now hoped to take place in the next academic year.