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Exonerated ‘Central Park Five’ Man Yusef Salaam to Discuss Race and Privilege

Yusef Salaam, one of the accused ‘Central Park Five’ is expected to share his story of injustice, wrongful accusation, exoneration and education at the White Privilege Symposium, a two-day conference at East High School hosted by Eddie Moore, Jr., of The Privilege Institute (TPI).

Bettina Love, Edison Tech grad and faculty member at Georgia State University. Provided by The Privilege Institute.

Edison Tech graduate Bettina Love, who holds a doctorate in educational policy from Georgia State University, is scheduled to be among the presenters. Love teaches at Georgia State.

The conference starts at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 with a discussion and book signing. The event continues at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16.

Salaam was only 15 when he, three other Black teens and one Latino were wrongfully convicted of raping and leaving for dead a young White woman in New York City’s Central Park.

The teens became known as ‘the Central Park Five’. None of their DNA matched the 1989 DNA sample from taken from the victim. However, they spent between seven and 13 years behind bars. They were exonerated and found innocent in 2002, when the actual assailant confessed to committing the crime.

The White Privilege Symposium will focus on addressing issues of inequality, oppression and racism, with opportunities for attendees to network with the featured speakers as well as others in the community sharing these concerns. Dialogue will examine racism from past to present. It will also include dialogue about ways to address present-day inequities and how to balance opportunities and prevent privilege in future generations.

Jacqueline Battalora also is scheduled to present. She holds a doctorate from Northwestern University, teaches sociology at Saint Xavier University in Chicago and is an attorney and former Chicago police officer who earned her law degree at the University of Toledo.

TPI is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 by Moore to provide education and resources addressed to issues of various “isms,” such as racism, sexism and heterosexism. The organization also advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. It also addresses related concerns of privilege, power and leadership.

Cost for two-day tickets is $135, college students $60, and $50 for grades K-12. Discounted tickets are available for teachers in any school district.

For more information, contact Mia Hodgins at, or go to