Rapper T.I. and the Central Park Five Join With Martin Luther King Jr.’s Home Church in Atlanta, Georgia, in Effort to End Mass Imprisonment

“When They See Us” director Ava DuVernay (center) with Kevin Richardson, Antron Mccray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam, collectively known as the Central Park Five. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Some high-profile names are taking part this week in efforts highlighting criminal justice reform.

Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, two of the five men exonerated in the 1989 brutal assault of a jogger in New York’s Central Park, and author and activist Michelle Alexander will be among speakers during a series of events on the criminal justice system at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

They will join the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock and others as part of several days of events addressing the issue of ending mass incarceration.

Alexander is the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

Rapper, actor and activist T.I. joined Warnock for a press conference Sunday, June 16. Both are participating in a massive Freedom Day Bailout and expungement campaign during the End Mass Incarceration Conference that will be held Monday through Wednesday.

The stories of Salaam and Santana, who both live in metro Atlanta,  were told as part of the highly acclaimed Netflix miniseries “When They See Us.” The men accused in the crime became known as the Central Park Five. In an emotional interview complementing the miniseries,  Oprah Winfrey later renamed them “The Exonerated Five.”

The five men, who were teens at the time, always maintained their innocence and said their confessions were coerced by authorities.

They were cleared years later after another man, Matias Reyes, confessed to the crime and his DNA matched evidence found at the scene.

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Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution