LINCROFT – Sister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, is scheduled to speak Feb. 25 at Brookdale Community College as the kick-off for the its program, The Big Read.
After witnessing the execution of a death row inmate she had been counseling, Prejean wrote the book. Today the Roman Catholic nun divides her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling death row prisoners. She has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and continues to help shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state executions.
Her book became a movie, an opera and a play for high schools and colleges.
There are two opportunities to hear Prejean speak on Feb. 25 with book signings for both. The first presentation will be at 11 a.m. in the Brookdale Recreation Center. The second presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the Brookdale Warner Student Life Center’s Navesink rooms.
Tickets for the events are $9 for adults and $4 for students and Chhange members. Advanced ticket purchase is preferred as space is limited. School groups must pre-register. Tickets and additional information are available at www.chhange.org.
A screening and discussion of the film Dead Man Walking will be held on Feb. 28. Tickets for the film are $4.
The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College is presenting The Big Read, an initiative to inspire citizens, young and older, to read and discuss a single book, A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.
“We are excited that The Big Read is under way. Our many partners, including Brookdale Community College, Monmouth County Arts Council, Monmouth County Library System, Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Lunch Break and others, have helped us plan more than 25 events across the county,” said Dale Daniels, executive director of Chhange. “Thousands of community members, middle school, high school and college students are committed to come together in special events, book discussions, film series and dramatic performances that will examine A Lesson Before Dying and its pertinent themes.”
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.