Black History Month Convocation


West Virginia State University Black History Month Convocation to Feature Dr. Yusef Salaam

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109

Feb. 10, 2021
West Virginia State University Black History Month Convocation to Feature Dr. Yusef Salaam

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Black History Month Convocation will feature prison reform activist and  New York Times best-selling author Dr. Yusef Salaam as its keynote speaker.

The convocation is set for Tuesday, February 16, at noon and will be delivered virtually via Zoom. It is free and open to the public.

In 1989, at just 15, Salaam was tried and convicted in the “Central Park Jogger” case along with four other Black and Latino men. The five men 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, Salaam 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. He regularly advocates for criminal justice reform, prison reform and the abolition of juvenile solitary confinement and capital punishment.

He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama in 2016, and more recently has shared his story and stance on current issues on CNN, MSNBC, REVOLT TV, NPR Atlanta, FOX and more.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
- WVSU -
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