Sister Helen Prejean and Screening of Central Park 5
Join us for a presentation by Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, following a screening of Ken Burns' film The Central Park Five, in an evening sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union-Washington and the Social Justice Film Festival.
Sister Helen Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church's newly vigorous opposition to state executions. She considers herself a southern storyteller and she travels around the world giving talks about her ministry.
Sister Helen is a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. She spent her first years with the Sisters teaching religion to junior high school students. Realizing that being on the side of poor people is an essential part of the Gospel, she moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and worked at Hope House from 1984 1986.
During this time, she was asked to correspond with a death row inmate, Patrick Sonnier, at Angola. She agreed and became his spiritual adviser. After witnessing his execution, she wrote a book about the experience. The result was Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. The book became a movie, an opera and a play for high schools and colleges.
Since 1984, Sister Helen has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. She has accompanied six men to their deaths. In doing so, she began to suspect that some of those executed were not guilty. This realization inspired her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, which was released by Random House in December of 2004.
She is presently at work on another book, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.
Central Park 5 (119 min.)
Directors: Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, a new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.
University Christian Church (View)
4731 15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105