“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
The Pearl Street Meetinghouse was full Tuesday evening for the Central Park Five 25 Year Commemoration event co-organized by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., Director of Diversity, Orinthia Swindell, Associate Director of Diversity, and Natania Kremer, Director of Service Learning. Over 300 Brooklyn Friends School students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators as well as educators, activists, and concerned community members came together for this important occasion. Following an emotional and powerful two hour film screening of The Central Park Five, we were grateful, humbled, and inspired to be joined by Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Sarah Burns. The Meetinghouse was filled with positive energy, hope, healing, love, and commitment to justice.
The impact of the experience is best captured by some of our students:
“I couldn’t wrap my mind around how they went through all of that and they are still here. I feel like them coming to our school and spreading awareness and sharing their stories can enforce change.” – Patonya, 10th grade
“Seeing them as 14-year-old kids in the interrogation room and then seeing them now made me think that could have been my classmate or someone I know…The case was so ridiculously not sound. Just sticking Black and Latino kids into jail. There was nothing other than race and being in the wrong place at the wrong time that could have linked them… It is a crime in the U.S. to be a person of color walking down the street.” -Louisa, 11th grade
“As someone who continually expresses faith in humans, it was difficult for me to see the adults, particularly the detectives, coax and manipulate people because of their race and their age. They didn’t know their Miranda rights… It didn’t make any sense that any of them could have been involved. The ineptitude of the police force and the lawyers on the case was disheartening.” -Bisa, 11th grade
“It makes me think about being in this school and how privileged we all are. We are all well aware of our rights because that is what we learned here. It makes me think about kids all over in different schools who can be easily manipulated.” – Meledi, 10th grade
Our guests asked for those who would like to help advocate for economic justice for the Central Park Five to please consider sending a letter to Mayor de Blasio and show support for their lawsuit to be settled. For more information, please see two recent NY Times Articles: