In keeping with the times, today Rev. Mark Lingle, pastor of St. Francis Episcopal Church, presented a check for $38,000 by teleconference to Lendria Glass, development manager for the Equal Justice Initiative in Birmingham, AL. The Equal Justice Initiative www.eji.org was the 2020 beneficiary of St. Francis’ 8th Annual Miles For A Mission Race/Walk held virtually in late July.
Recent unrest and injustices this year, gave tremendous exposure to the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
The Equal Justice Initiative was founded by Bryan Stevenson. “Just Mercy,” a movie based on his book, tells the story of Stevenson’s mission to seek the release of wrongly convicted people serving prison terms, and aired for free on most streaming platforms during the month of June.
Glass thanked St. Francis “for recognizing the Equal Justice Initiative and the work we have been doing for 30 years. No stranger to unrest, it is refreshing to have more eyes and more involvement giving a voice to those who have suffered injustice in the criminal justice system.” She further remarked that “the pandemic has not stopped the need to see clients, conduct research and represent clients even in virtual court appearances.”
Race co-directors Cynthia Russell and Claudia Bilotti said events of 2020 led to the decision to hold a virtual race and choose a national beneficiary that reflected concerns in the nation.
St. Francis Episcopal Church www.stfrancisstamford.org , located on Long Ridge Road in Stamford, has long been committed to community outreach and has taken stands on issues of importance to Stamford and the country. Its logo reads, “Inclusive, because diversity was God’s idea.”