CSN and the Associated Students of the College of Southern Nevada are pleased to welcome Raymond Santana Jr. to campus as part of the Den Talks speaker series. The event on Feb. 28 is free and open to the public and will take place between 6 and 8 p.m.
Santana spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit, one of the so-called Central Park Five whose exoneration was examined in the award-winning Netflix series “When They See Us.” The series was sparked by Santana when he tweeted the filmmaker Ana DuVernay, who went on to create, co-write and direct the series.
The African American and Latino men who were improperly imprisoned in the case – known now as the Exonerated Five – have been committed to advocating for criminal justice reform and educating people on the disparities in the current system. Santana is now a producer, fashion designer and activist who works closely with the Innocence Project to help ensure that injustices like those he suffered are increasingly rare.
“Mr. Santana is a powerful speaker and I applaud our student government for encouraging dialogue on a topic as important as the treatment of minorities in our criminal justice system,” said CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza. “All CSN students can benefit from learning about real-world issues in the classroom and from people who have experienced them first-hand.”
ASCSN student body president Daniel Gutierrez said: “Mr. Santana’s story is both tragic and inspiring. We want to show our students that no matter their past, no matter where they come from, they can make something of themselves. Raymond Santana’s story shows us all that anything is possible.”