Doctor Yusef Salaam – The Central Park Five

The Central Park Five

Central Park Five Prt 2

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Steven Lopez

Yusef Salaam is one of the Central Park Five, a group of young Black and Latino men who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. Salaam was 15 years old at the time of the incident and was the only member of the group who did not give a false confession. Despite a lack of physical evidence linking any of the five to the crime, they were convicted based on coerced confessions and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 15 years.

After serving nearly 7 years in prison, Salaam was exonerated in 2002 when DNA evidence conclusively proved that another man had committed the rape. In addition to his wrongful conviction, Salaam’s story highlights the ongoing problem of racial injustice in the American criminal justice system, as well as the psychological and emotional toll that wrongful incarceration can have on individuals and their families.

Since his release from prison, Salaam has become a prominent activist and advocate for criminal justice reform. He has spoken out about his experience and has worked to raise awareness about issues such as police brutality, wrongful convictions, and the need for more compassionate and equitable treatment of prisoners. He has also co-authored a book with his mother, Sharonne Salaam, titled “Words of a Man: My Right to Be,” which chronicles his journey from wrongful conviction to exoneration and beyond.

Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, did not have the opportunity to pursue higher education while he was wrongfully incarcerated. He was only 15 years old when he was arrested and 22 years old when he was exonerated.

After his release, Salaam became a public speaker and advocate for criminal justice reform, sharing his story and insights about the need for systemic change. He has spoken at numerous events, including at colleges and universities, and has also appeared in documentaries and television programs.

Salaam has also been recognized for his contributions to advocacy and social justice. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Anointed by God Ministries Alliance & Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2019, he was awarded the President’s Medal for Social Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

In addition to his advocacy work, Salaam has also collaborated with artists and authors to create works that highlight issues related to criminal justice reform. For example, he worked with visual artist Titus Kaphar to create a series of portraits titled “When They See Us” that honor the Central Park Five and their families. He also co-authored a book with Ibi Zoboi titled “Punching the Air,” a novel-in-verse about a young Black artist who is wrongfully incarcerated.

Overall, Salaam’s experiences as a member of the Central Park Five and his subsequent advocacy work have helped raise awareness about issues related to wrongful convictions, racism in the criminal justice system, and the need for reforms to ensure greater equity and justice for all.

1 Yusef Salaam on What He Learned From Adversity

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8 apr. 2020

Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, speaks about how he found purpose in his experience contending with the unfair forces of the American justice system.

2 Rising Above Injustice with Dr. Yusef Salaam | Confident Muslim

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In première gegaan op 12 mei 2022

In the face of injustice, Dr. Yusef Salaam rose above the obstacles of a false conviction.
Yaqeen Institute is proud to name Dr. Yusef Salaam as our 2021 Muhammad Ali Confident Muslim of the Year. The award was presented at the 2021 MAS ICNA Convention in Chicago, IL.
Confident Muslim by Yaqeen Institute is a platform which highlights everyday Muslims making a positive impact in society, inspired by their faith.
Each year, Yaqeen will award the best presenter the Muhammad Ali Confident Muslim award. Muhammad Ali represents an individual who combined conviction with contribution and touched the world. We hope to inspire a generation of confident Muslims to follow in those footsteps.

3 A Special Session: Yusef Salaam | Players Tech Summit

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2 jul. 2019

In conversation with a member of the Exonerated Five Yuset Salaam and Bloomberg’s Brad Stone at #PlayersTech

4 Yusef Salaam Of Exonerated Central Park Five Shares His Story

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18 mei 2021

The story of the Central Park Five, five teenagers wrongfully imprisoned for one of New York City’s most infamous crimes in 1989, has been brought to light again in recent years. Now one of the five, Yusef Salaam, is telling his own story in a new memoir, “Better, Not Bitter.” TODAY’s Craig Melvin sat down with Salaam for his first broadcast interview about the book. “When you are tested, then you can testify,” Salaam says.

5 The Muslim that Trended on Netflix | Yusef Salaam (Full Podcast)

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24 sep. 2021

The infamous “Central Park Five” was a case that made headlines around the world. On the eve of the 19th of April,1989, a young white woman jogging through Central Park, New York, was brutally attacked, raped and left unconscious. Following a vicious media storm, five black and brown teens were swiftly charged with her rape after being coerced into falsely confessing – Raymond Santana, 14; Kevin Richardson, 14; Antron McCray, 15; Yusef Salaam, 15; and Korey Wise, 16.
Thirteen years later in 2002, they were exonerated after a prison inmate confessed to the crime. Today, they are known as the “Exonerated Five”. Their inspirational story is told in the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series, “When They See Us”. $
In this special podcast, we are joined by one of the exonerated five, Dr Yusef Salaam. Dr Salaam is an author, motivational speaker and a current Boardman of the Innocence Project.
In this conversation he speaks about his life behind prison, his relationship with his faith and how he has been able to grow from his experience.


00:00 Introduction to the Central Park Five
01:12 How is Yusef Salaam currently
02:00 Inspiration from Prophet Yusuf
6:00 Life before prison
09:00 Knowing God through Oppression
11:36 Reacting to Netflix Scene of his Mother
17:45 The impact of the media on his case
21:37 Relief after exoneration
25:36 Healing through trauma
28:12 What can Muslims do to stop injustice
29:50 Close

6 The Choice 2020: Yusef Salaam (interview) | FRONTLINE

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23 sep. 2020

Yusef Salaam was falsely accused of rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park in 1989 in what has become known as the “Central Park Five” case. He was exonerated in 2002 and is now an activist and motivational speaker.
The following interview was conducted by FRONTLINE’s Gabrielle Schonder on June 30, 2020 during our reporting for the “The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden” — FRONTLINE’s critically acclaimed election series featuring the interwoven, investigative biographies of both presidential candidates. It has been edited for clarity and length.

7 Sister Circle | Yusef Salaam of The Central Park Five Talks Journey From Trauma To Triumph | TVONE

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12 aug. 2019

Catch Sister Circle Monday – Friday at 12|11c on TVOne.

8 Yusef Salaam – “I was closest to God in prison.” – A DoubleTake Special

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In première gegaan op 9 mrt. 2022

In 1989, at fifteen years old, Dr. Yusef Salaam was tried and convicted in the “Central Park Jogger” case along with four other Black and Latino teenage boys. The infamous case made headlines around the world. The Exonerated Five spent between seven to 13 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, until their sentences were overturned in 2002.
Today, we’re sitting down with Dr. Yusef Salaam to talk about how his experiences have shaped his relationship with Allah, including his thoughts on dealing with doubt, building tawakkul, and finding sources of strength.

9 Yusef Salaam: Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice

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22 mei 2021

Yusef Salaam: Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice

10 Diversity Conversation Yusef Salaam and Jermaine Reese

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22 jan. 2020

Dr. Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated 5, sits down for a conversation with Professor Jermaine Reese, Director of the Police and Corrections Academy at GRCC.
Dr. Salaam served as the keynote speaker for the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

11 Duke Law | When They See Us: A Conversation with Two of the Exonerated Five

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Live gestreamd op 3 sep. 2019

Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, two members of the Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five, tell their stories to a Duke Law audience. They are the subjects of the Netflix series “When They See Us,” which focuses on the conviction and later exoneration of Mr. Salaam, Mr. Santana and three others in the infamous Central Park jogger case. Dean Kerry Abrams welcomes the panelists to Duke Law and Professor Brandon Garrett interviews Mr. Salaam and Mr. Santana about their experiences. A question and answer period follows.
Sponsored by the Office of the Dean, the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, the Duke Law Innocence Project®, and the Criminal Law Society.

12 Five Questions With Yusef Salaam

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27 okt. 2016

Yusef Salaam is a leader, motivator, and thinker who is a proponent of social justice. He is also one of the teens falsely accused and convicted of raping the “Central Park Jogger.”
Stony Brook University’s “Five Questions With …” video series showcases leaders from every field, sharing ambitious ideas and imaginative solutions for education and the global future

13 A Phoenix from the Ashes: Dr. Yusef Salaam | MPAC Convention

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26 nov. 2019

Yusef Salaam was only 15 years old when he was sentenced to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The #CentralParkFive were innocent, but they were profiled, coerced, and convicted to feed and illustrate a narrative of fear about their communities. Exonerated 12 years later, Dr. Salaam transformed tragedy into advocacy and despair into hope.
The annual MPAC Convention is a convening of ideas, leaders, and activists at the forefront of social change. Learn more at

14 Yusef Salaam recites poetry

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15 Ibi Zoboi | Dr. Yusef Salaam | Punching the Air | Equity Talks

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In première gegaan op 17 sep. 2020

Dr. Yusef Salaam was just 15-year-old when he and four other Harlem teens were wrongly convinced of the rape and murder of a young white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. Known as the Central Park Five, the young men spent years behind bars before a court finally overturned their sentences in 2002. A convicted murderer and rapist serving a life sentence confessed to the crime, and his DNA matched a sample found at the scene.

Dr. Salaam is now known as one of the Exonerated Five. In 2014, the men received a $41 million settlement from New York City. Since his release more than 20 years ago, Dr. Salaam has become a family man, a father, a poet, an activist, and an inspirational speaker, advocating for criminal justice reform.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in New York City, Ibi Zoboi is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, Pride, and American Street, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times notable book. She is also the editor of Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America.

In 2020, Zoboi and Dr. Salaam collaborated on Punching the Air, a novel about a 16-year-old artist who is arrested and wrongfully convicted of a crime.

In this episode of Equity Talks, Malika Saada Saar, Google’s Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, sits down with Zoboi and Dr. Salaam to discuss the criminal justice system and the power of storytelling.

The Equity Talks series is a global forum offering an in-depth study of justice through forthright discussion. By amplifying some of the most important voices of our time, our goal is to encourage introspection, conversation, and personal growth.

16 The Story Behind Punching the Air | with Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

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Poet, activist, and inspirational speaker Dr. Yusef Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five wrongfully convicted in the “Central Park jogger” case, joins forces with award-winning author Ibi Zoboi in Punching the Air, a YA novel-in-verse about unbreakable hope and resilience in the face of injustice. Watch the authors explain the inspiration behind the highly anticipated book here, and order your copy now!

17 This Struggle is Not About Race || Dr. Yusef Salaam || Exonerated 5

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Get You FREE copy of INKNEWS:

18 Dreams Academy presents Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five Highlights and Interviews

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20 dec. 2019

What is your purpose? What’s your definition of life? How does effective education play a part in your path? Do you learn and grow from adversity? How do you determine self-worth and value?
Here are highlights and interviews from the Dr. Yusef Salaam lecture presented by Dreams Academy at the City of Joy Event Center in Akron, Ohio. Thank you for watching and remember to share this video.

19 S3 Ep. 79: Dr. Yusef Salaam Of The Exonerated Five And Award-Winning Netflix Series ‘When They…

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3 dec. 2019

Dr. Alex Gee captures an exclusive interview with Dr. Yusef Salaam of what became known as the “Central Park Five” and are now known as “The Exonerated Five.” You won’t want to miss Dr. Salaam’s powerful and honest story that details his resilience, integrity, and faith in the midst of great injustice.
Dr. Yusef Salaam’s story has been presented in Ken Burn’s documentary, “The Central Park Five” and Ava DuVernay’s award-winning Netflix series, “When They See Us.” Since his release more than 20 years ago, Yusef 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.

20 Dr. Yusef Salaam Speaking at a Press Conference to Support a Bill to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

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21 Yusef Salaam | The Marshall Project | The New Yorker

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Yusef Salaam, who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned as one of the “Central Park Five,” details how his life was turned upside down one day in 1989 — and how he felt when the charges were dropped decades later.
Director: Jenny Carchman
“We Are Witnesses”: A Portrait of Crime and Punishment in America


22 nov. 2019

Speech given at our Cultural Competence Conference

22 Yusef Salaam of Central Park Five visits GVSU for MLK Day

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20 jan. 2020

Yusef Salaam, a member of the “The Central Park Five,” speaks to hundreds after a silent march for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Grand Valley State University in Allendale Township on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. In 1989, Salaam was among five teens – four black and one Latino – that were tried and wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. Their convictions were vacated in 2002 after spending between seven and thirteen years of their lives behind bars.
One other point, when someone says “it happened a long, long time ago”, take a moment to search youtube for audio recorded interviews with former slaves. Yes, they exist. None of this is “ancient”. You don’t have to read about it in a book, you can hear their own voices.

23 Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Central Park Five in Conv w/ Dr. Eddie Glaude, Princeton Univ.

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17 dec. 2019

In this conversation Dr. Yusef Salaam talks about his harrowing experience of being sent to prison for a crime he did not commit, and how his faith in Islam helped him escape the confines of prison and how his theology continues to give him perspective. A powerful conversation on faith and race in America.
To learn more about the Muslim Life Program at Princeton University, visit us online!
Lyndsey Saunders
This discussion was so powerful, so many amazing takeaways! Thank you for sharing this experience with the public.

24 Yusef Salaam and The Central Park Jogger Deception Trial

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19 feb. 2013

The documentary “The Central Park Five” revisits two New York nightmares. The first and most famous was the rape and beating of a 28-year-old white woman who, very early on April 20, 1989, was found in Central Park bound, gagged, nearly naked and nearly dead, her head crushed and shirt soaked in her blood. For years she was known only as the Central Park jogger, and her assailants were widely thought to be the five black and Latino teenagers, 14 to 16, who were arrested in the attack. The directors Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns argue that the convictions, and the years the defendants served for the crime they were later absolved of, were a second, racially motivated crime. It is a crime that remains fresh in memory partly because it was so notorious, even though what looked like its final chapter was written a decade ago. In 2002 a New York State Supreme Court judge, Charles J. Tejada, after being presented with a confession and DNA evidence from a murderer and serial rapist, Matias Reyes, overturned the convictions of the men who became known as the Central Park Five. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam had already served sentences of almost 7 to 13 years for the assault when they were exonerated. Their records were wiped clean, and they were also presumably liberated from the public stain of what the mayor at the time, Edward I. Koch, has called “the crime of the century.” This video features Yusef Salaam speaking to a small group at the Lakeview Library in Long Island.


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21 jan. 2013



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22 jan. 2013

27 Confident Muslim | Omar Suleiman & Yusef Salaam – MASCON2021

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30 mrt. 2022

Confident Muslim by Yaqeen Institute is a platform which highlights everyday Muslims making a positive impact in society, inspired by their faith. Each year, Yaqeen will award the best presenter the Muhammad Ali Confident Muslim award. Muhammad Ali represents an individual who combined conviction with contribution and touched the world. We hope to inspire a generation of confident Muslims to follow in those footsteps.
The Annual MAS-ICNA Convention is one of the largest and most diverse Islamic conventions in North America. The convention takes place in Chicago, Illinois every December during the winter holiday season.
The opinions expressed herein by the guest speakers at the MAS-ICNA Convention are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Muslim American Society (MAS) or the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).

28 I Am Yusef Salaam

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27 feb. 2021

Black Diaries presentes a video about Yusef Salaam, one of five individuals wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a Central Park jogger in 1989. These men are know as the Central Park Five.

29 Sharronne Salaam (Mother of Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five)

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30 One Night in Central Park l 20/20 l PART 4 | ABC News

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25 mei 2019

Four of 5 teens in Central Park rape case make video statements: Part 4 All but one of the five teens implicated themselves in connection to the attack but some of their statements were inconsistent or got major details wrong, like what the victim was wearing.

31 Yusef Salaam, member of Central Park Five, on journey from wrongful conviction to NYC Council race

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5 jul 2023

Yusef Salaam, a member of the “Exonerated Five,” was 15 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of rape of a jogger in Central Park in New York City in 1989. Salaam joins “CBS Mornings” to discuss his first run for office as he is on track to join the New York City Council.

32 Exonerated Central Park Five member Yusef Salaam wins New York City Council seat

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8 nov 2023

Exonerated Central Park Five member Yusef Salaam spoke to supporters Tuesday night after winning a seat on the New York City Council.

33 Yusef Salaam reacts to Donald Trump’s second indictment

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17 jun 2023
Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Exonerated and current candidate for New York City Council, discusses his campaign and the second indictment of Former President Donald Trump, who once called for him to face the death penalty.

34 Sensual Pottery Class Prank

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19 dec 2015

The Central Park Five

Central Park Five Prt 2

The Dark Side

False confessions

Current Page

Steven Lopez