In 1989, a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York's Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime.
The five, labeled the "Central Park Five", maintained their innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated.
On May 31, 2019, the Netflix series, "When They See Us" debuted, sparking conversation due to the emotional content.
Each year, LSU's Martin Luther King Commemorative Program brings the foremost authors, scholars and activists to campus for critical discussion on diversity, education and issues of social justice.
LSU sophomore, Tia Peck is a part of the subcommittee that puts on the celebration.
“We try to get someone in the community or in the nation that has impacted us in some way…we figured one of the exonerated five would be a good choice for this years celebration so that’s why we went with Yusef,” Peck said.
This year's keynote will be Yusef Salaam. Salaam was one of the five teens from Harlem who was tried and convicted in the Central Park jogger case.
All five men were later exonerated after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Since his release more than 20 years ago, Salaam has become a family man, father, poet, activist and inspirational speaker.
Salaam will be speaking on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at Five P.M. in the LSU Student Union Theater. Doors will open at 4:30 PM.
The committee will be showing the rest of the series November 12, November 19, and December 3 at Aix PM in Coates Hall, room 143. For any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-578-4339.