Yusef Salaam, a member of the now-exonerated Central Park Five, will arrive on campus Nov. 4 to speak about his experiences and advocacy for others wrongfully accused.
According to Alexa Bueltal, campus coordinator at the Kimmel Student Involvement Center, she and Tamryn Williams, the Global Issues and Topics chair of the Campus Activities Board, were faced with multiple options for events to host. It was eventually Williams who made the decision to have Salaam come speak.
“It’s just amazing what he went through and how he overcame those struggles and how he’s using his story to really advocate for those who are also facing similar situations,” Bueltel said.
In April 1989, Salaam and four others were wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case, in which a female jogger was beaten and raped.
Salaam served seven years in juvenile detention and was released in 1996 on parole. The five men were finally exonerated in 2002 when the true assailant confessed to the crime.
After viewing depictions like Netflix’s “When They See Us” and Ken Burns’ documentary “The Central Park Five,” students will now be able to hear of Salaam’s experiences first hand. Salaam will also be using his time to advocate for others that are in his position, and address injustices that exist in the criminal justice system.
Salaam will be speaking at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 in the Meridian Ballroom. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and attendance is free to all students.