“The Big Read” Kick-off Event February 25

Lincroft, NJ – After witnessing the execution of a death-row inmate she had been counseling, Sister Helen Prejean wrote Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.  Today the Roman Catholic nun divides her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling death row prisoners. She will speak at Brookdale Community College February 25 at The Big Read kick-off events.

Sister Helen Prejean 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.jj

There are two opportunities to hear Sister Helen Prejean speak on February 25 with both including book signings;

  • The  first (day) presentation will be at 11:00 a.m. in the Brookdale Recreation Center (“BREC”) at the Lincroft main campus.
  • The second (evening) presentation will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Brookdale Warner Student Life Center, Navesink rooms of the Lincroft main campus.

Tickets for the February 25  events are $9/Adults and $4/Students and Chhange members.  Advanced ticket purchase is preferred as space is limited. School groups MUST pre-register. Go to www.chhange.org for ticket purchase.

Screenings and Discussions of the film Dead Man Walking will be held on February 12, February 21 and February 28.  Tickets for the film are $4.

“We are excited that The Big Read is underway.  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.”

About The Big Read: 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.  Individuals, classes, book clubs, libraries and arts agencies across the county are coming together to read the book, discuss it and enjoy related films, speakers and arts events.   More than 25 events are scheduled from February thru April. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

About Chhange:  Chhange educates, inspires and empowers students, teachers and community members to take constructive action to address injustice.  Since 1979, Chhange’s mission of “eliminating racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of prejudice that damage our society” has been carried out through innovative educational programs and by contact with Holocaust and other genocide survivors, members of victim groups, and human rights activists.