For Immediate Release
Date: Feb. 8, 2020
Contact: Tom McGuire, Director of Communications
Written by: Shana Wetzel, Student Intern
Bloomsburg University’s Sankofa Conference to hear from activist Yusef Salaam
BLOOMSBURG- Yusef Salem, a member of the "Central Park Five," will be the keynote speaker for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Sankofa Conference on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. at Carver Hall, Gross Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Salaam, falsely accused when he was just 15 years old, was convicted of assault and rape of jogger Trisha Meili. Salaam was one of five boys charged in the case, who collectively became known as the "Central Park Five." In 2002, after the "Central Park Five" spent between seven and 13 years of their lives behind bars, the sentences of the boys—now men—were overturned. A convicted murderer and rapist serving a life sentence confessed, and the "Central Park Five" were fully exonerated.
Now, nearly twenty years since being exonerated, Salaam has become a family man, father, poet, activist, and inspirational speaker. He has committed himself to advocate and educate people on the issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, false confessions, press ethics, and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America's criminal justice system, especially for young men of color.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs' Sankofa Conference grew out of the need for students to learn, understand and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent. It has developed as a way to promote unity and understanding among students, providing a forum for discussion and learning.