Central Park Five Awarded Honorary High School Diplomas
06.27.17 By Innocence Staff
On Monday at the Bronx Preparatory High School commencement ceremony, members of the Central Park Five were given the high school graduation they never had as teenagers.
Seniors at Bronx Prep spent the fall 2016 semester learning about the Central Park Jogger case, including the wrongful convictions of Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Antron McCray, also known as the Central Park Five.
In January, as part of its Speakers Bureau, the Innocence Project arranged for Richardson to visit the school to address the seniors and take questions. Students and faculty were so moved by his visit that they wanted to invite him back again. Assistant Principle Cassius Gil spoke with Executive Director Emmanuel George and decided that since the five men missed their own high school graduations due to their wrongful arrests and convictions, the school would invite them to graduate with the seniors in June.
Richardson, Salaam and Santana were given caps and gowns and stood among the more than 60 teenagers during the ceremony on Monday, which was held at Lehman College. Each walked across the stage to accept their honorary diplomas. McCray and Wise will be sent their diplomas by mail.
“It’s kind of emotional,” Santana said, according to the New York Times. “When we went to prison, this was taken away from us. It was something we never got to experience. You felt like you were being robbed, and we’ve finally found redemption.”
Salaam delivered the keynote speech, with Santana and Richardson standing by his side.
“Thank you,” Salaam said. “We are honored. We are hopeful. We are blessed. And we accept.”
Read the New York Times coverage here.
Related: Members of Central Park Five Speak at FIT
Request an exoneree speaker for your event here!
Leave a Reply
Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.
June 28, 2017 at 10:23 am
It is very nice that your blog is providing information regarding the program. I want to aware you towards the “Law school scholarship list”. These scholarships are available for high school, graduate, undergraduate students and law school students. All these scholarships award range from $1,000 to $15,000. If you find yourself to be eligible, don’t waste your time and Apply today!
Application deadline varies.
You can check the given link: http://usascholarships.com/top-law-school-scholarships/
You can also join our Facebook page for the updates. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/MyUSAScholarships?fref=ts
Brenda June 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm
Very emotional indeed. These young men were robbed of so much. Hopefully some of the wrongs done to them can be righted so they don’t be made to suffer further consequences from actions they had no control over.
I’m eternally grateful they were exonerated, as my friend Robert Dewey was, too.
And I’m sad for the thousands wrongfully incarcerated with no hope for redemption.