The 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture at Cornell, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Sage Chapel, will feature a conversation between criminal justice activist Yusef Salaam and Anna Haskins, assistant professor of sociology.
Free and open to the public, the annual event brings together the Cornell and Ithaca communities with a series of events honoring the service, activism and legacy of King.
A Q&A will follow the conversation.
Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise were all wrongfully convicted in 1990 in the widely publicized Central Park jogger case. Then teenagers, they would be known collectively for more than two decades as “The Central Park Five.”
Salaam, who was 15 when he was arrested in New York City in April 1989, spent more than six years in jail. All five convictions were set aside and voided in 2002 by the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Their story was the subject of “The Central Park Five,” a Peabody Award-winning documentary made in 2012 by filmmaker Ken Burns, and the 2019 Netflix dramatic miniseries “When They See Us,” directed by Ava DuVernay.
Now as one of “The Exonerated Five,” Salaam has committed himself to educating the public on issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system, particularly for young men of color.