By Julie Nash and Leslie Wong
The Provost's Office and the Office of Multicultural Affairs are pleased to present a panel title “Now We See You: The Wrongful Conviction and Incarceration of Yusef Salaam," a panel on wrongful conviction as part of Social Justice Week on campus.
Moderated by Criminal Justice and Criminology Professor Erica Gagne, the panel will feature the following participants:
- Author and Advocate Yusef Salaam
- Rhada Natarajan, Executive Director of the New England Innocence Project
- UMass Lowell Psychology Professor Miko Wilford, who specializes in issues of human memory and decision making, specifically in the context of the law
There will be a Question and Answer period following the panel, and Yusef will be on hand to sign his best-selling novel, "Punching the Air" and his memoir "Better, not Bitter." (The Bookstore will be on hand to sell copies of the book).
- February 16, 4 p.m.
- Inn and Conference Center
- This event is free and open to the public.
More on Yusef Salaam:
In 1989, at just fifteen years young, Yusef Salaam was tried and convicted in the “Central Park Jogger” case along with four other Black and Latinx young men. The Exonerated Five spent between seven to 13 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, until their sentences were overturned in 2002. Since then, they have received a multi-million dollar settlement from the city of New York for its injustice and have been profiled in award-winning films, including "The Central Park Five" documentary from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon and most recently the Emmy award-winning Netflix limited series "When They See Us," written and directed by Ava DuVernay. Over the past two decades, Yusef has become a family man, father, poet, activist and inspirational speaker. He continues to utilize his platform to share his story with others and educate the public about the impact of mass incarceration and police brutality rooted in our justice system. He regularly advocates for criminal justice reform, prison reform and the abolition of juvenile solitary confinement and capital punishment, specifically restoring “humanity” of those incarcerated and those trodden down by the spike wheels of justice.
Yusef is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama (2016) and more recently has shared his story and stance on current issues on CNN, MSNBC, REVOLT TV, NPR Atlanta, FOX and more.