Please join us for an advance screening of Just Mercy on Monday, December 2 at 7PM. To reserve tickets please visit or call the Duke University Box Office at 919-684-4444. Will call opens at 6PM. Doors will open at 6:30PM.

A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

Please stay for a Q&A following the film with Shelagh Kenney and Trey Walk. 

Shelagh Kenney is the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. She has been a staff attorney at CDPL since 2001. In 2005, she served as the legal director of the ACLU of NC. Prior to joining CDPL, Shelagh clerked for the Hon. Aleta Trauger in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. She also clerked for the Hon. Napoleon Jones, Jr., then a federal district court judge for the Southern District of California. Shelagh is a 1996 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago and a 1991 graduate of Harvard College. Between college and law school, Shelagh was a teacher in south central Los Angeles through Teach for America and a project assistant at Public Counsel, a nonprofit legal organization in Los Angeles.

Trey Walk is a Justice Fellow at the Equal Justice Initiative, working primarily on EJI’s racial justice and community education projects. Trey has a B.A. in History from Duke University, where he worked with the Community Empowerment Fund to help homeless and low-income residents secure housing, build credit, and apply for jobs. He also worked on affordable housing and homelessness as an intern for the Northside Neighborhood Initiative and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, researched the history of racial inequality in housing policy in Durham, and worked on voting rights as a community organizer in South Carolina, before joining EJI in 2019.


Cosponsored by The Duke Human Rights Center@FHI, Participant Media, Duke Arts, Student Affairs, DEMAN, UCAE, DUU, and the Mary Lou Williams Center For Black Culture.