During the summer, Aidan Crowl read a book that has stuck with him.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption was among the books he read as part of a scholarship program, Crowl, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, said. The book was written by lawyer Bryan Stevenson and chronicled his experiences as he worked with death row inmates who were wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not commit. 

Anthony Ray Hinton, who was one of the inmates Stevenson worked with during that time, will be coming to Athens to share his story and discuss racial politics in Alabama during and after the Civil Rights Movement as part of the 90 Minute Series.


What: Anthony Ray Hinton — Death Row survivor

When: 7 p.m., Wednesday

Where: Schoonover Center 145

Admission: Free

What: Nina Turner — Former Ohio senator/Bernie backer

When: 7 p.m., Sept. 27

Where: Schoonover Center 145

Admission: Free

What: Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews — Senior VP for CBS News

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 11

Where: Schoonover Center 145

Admission: Free

What: Richie Plass — Advocate for Native American rights

When: 7 p.m., Nov. 1

Where: Schoonover Center 145

Admission: Free

What: Bob Ryan — Sports columnist/ESPN personality

When: 7 p.m., Nov. 29

Where: Schoonover Center 145

Admission: Free

The 90 Minute Series is a series of campus conversations at Ohio University held on Wednesdays and invites guest speakers to share their experiences each week at 7 p.m.

“It’s one thing to read about it on a book,” Crowl said. “But it’s something entirely different to hear about it from the mouth of a person who has experienced it.”

The series has had 19 speakers since its conception in 2016. Tom Costello, who was a visiting professor at the Scripps College of Communication at the time, was part of the series’ development when it first began.

“It was meant to give a learning opportunity outside of the classroom,” Costello, now a staff and faculty member at the University of Detroit Jesuit in Detroit, said. “(To hear) from different walks of life, different viewpoints, that didn’t look like they did or think like they did. We wanted to give our students another experience.”

Although the series has previously featured mostly speakers related to the journalism field, the series has expanded to include speakers of various professions and invite them to OU.

Nerissa Young, a lecturer in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, has been encouraging her students to attend the series due to the wide range of experiences and perspectives shared by the speakers. 

“Part of the college experience is to expose them to things that are different from their experiences,” Young said.

When Costello was a staff member at OU, he also encouraged his students to attend the talks and write reflection papers. 

“Many students said ‘I didn’t wanna come, but I’m glad I did because I heard from someone else, I heard someone’s story and I learned their viewpoint,’” he said. “The series reinforces the fact that this is a learning opportunity and students do absorb it, take it in and appreciate it.”

For Young, she uses the series as a supplement to the courses she teaches. The series helps give real life examples to the topics covered in her courses as a way for students to better understand these topics.

Young said the series gives students exposure to people who may have different perspectives from what they have, a broader worldview and an understanding that different people have different experiences “whether that’s good, bad or different.”

Crowl said he will be attending this week’s session and he hopes “resilience” will be among the themes of Hinton’s speech. 

“I’m curious to see how that might come across in his speech, but also … how he views the world at the moment when resilience is something we could all use a little more,” Crowl said.



Comments powered by Disqus