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SISTER HELEN PREJEAN TO LAUNCH SOUTHEASTERN’S
NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE SERIES
HAMMOND -- Internationally
recognized death penalty opponent Sr. Helen Prejean will launch a new social
justice lecture series at Southeastern Louisiana University in an address
scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, in the university’s Student Union
Open to the general public,
the free lecture, entitled “Dead Man Walking – the Journey Continues,”
is sponsored by the Southeastern Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Copies of her books -- “Dead Man Walking, An Eyewitness Account of the
Death Penalty in the United States” and “Death of Innocents” – will be
available for sale and autographs following the talk.
“We are pleased to have
an individual such as Sr. Helen Prejean initiate our annual lecture series,”
said Yanyi K. Djamba of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
“Her international reputation as a tireless worker against the death penalty
makes her ideal to launch this program.” He said future programs will include
films, panels and roundtable discussions on social justice issues that
affect everyone from a local to international level.
Sr. Helen is a Louisiana
native whose book “Dead Man Walking,” was number one on the New York Times
Best Seller List for 31 weeks and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The
work was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon
as Sr. Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate. The film received four
Oscar nominations with Sarandon winning the award for Best Actress.
A member of the Catholic
order of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, she holds bachelor degrees
in English and education from St. Mary’s Dominican College and a master’s
degree in religious education from St. Paul’s University, Ottawa, Canada.
Sister Helen began her
prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New
Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became acquainted
with a convicted killer on death row at Louisiana’s Angola State Prison,
serving as his spiritual advisor. Frequently interviewed by the media,
Sr. Helen has been featured in the “New York Times Magazine” and on programs
such as CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the NBC “Today Show,” and the ABC “World News