“The Central Park Five” Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana
Date: Sunday, October 20 from 7-9 (seating begins at 6pm)
Location: Graham Chapel
This event is free but seating is first-come-first-serve so arrive early!
On Sunday, October 20, the “Central Park Five” members Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana will be speaking about race and law, police brutality and misconduct, and disparities in America’s criminal justice system in Graham Chapel from 7-9pm. Seats are first-come first-serve starting at 6pm (this event is free!) More about the speakers: In 1989, five teenagers from Harlem, between the ages 14 and 16, were wrongfully tried and convicted of attacking and raping 28-year-old “Central Park Jogger” in New York Central Park. They became known as the “Central Park Five.” Although neither the forensic evidence nor the description of the participants matched that of the rape, all five teenagers (Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, and Korey Wise) were convicted in two separate trials and sentenced to five to ten years each. Both Salaam and Santana served nearly 7 years for this false conviction in a youth correctional facility, until the real culprit’s confession in 2002. The investigation tactics used in this case have raised controversy over police coercion, false confessions, and the vulnerability of juveniles during police interrogations. Today, Salaam and Santana are advocates for criminal justice and they work closely with the Innocence Project, an organization working to exonerate the those who were wrongfully convicted though the use of DNA testing. Salaam has been appointed to board of the Innocence Project and received the President’s Life Time Achievement Award from President Barack Obama. Santana also works as an advocate for these issues and his tweet to director Ava DuVernay sparked the work of the Netflix series, “When They See Us.”