As public support for the death penalty declines and more states move toward ending the death penalty, DePaul University in Chicago has joined the national effort to change hearts and minds. DePaul has formalized its relationship with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, and the Ministry Against the Death Penalty (MADP), joining in the organization’s mission to create systemic change through education, advocacy, discourse, prison reform, and abolition of the death penalty throughout the United States.
The Office of Mission and Values at DePaul University will coordinate national programs and events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the book Dead Man Walking, share a monthly e-newsletter to expand discourse on the death penalty, and promote engagement with Sister Helen’s archives, now stored at DePaul Unriversity. Dead Man Walking has inspired young people and adults around the country to engage in deep reflection, to create art that generates critical community conversations, and to join local and national efforts to abolish the death penalty. Plans are underway to connect to new technology and resources, and expand efforts to bring the book to schools, libraries, first-year reading conferences, youth centers, and to urban and rural communities. This fall, DePaul welcomes a new part-time coordinator for additional collaboration between MADP and the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project. The project is now in its 10th season of inspiring dialogue and action on high school and college campuses throughout the country.