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Inquire below to book Raymond Santana

Criminal Justice Advocate, Member of "Central Park Five"

At a Glance

Raymond Santana : Biography at a Glance

  • In 1989, Raymond Santana was among five boys—four black and one Latino—that were tried and wrongfully convicted of raping a young woman in New York City’s Central Park. They became known collectively as “The Central Park Five.”
  • On December 19, 2002, the convictions of the five men were overturned. The unidentified DNA met its owner, a convicted murderer and serial rapist who confessed. Santana had spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. They are now known as "The Exonerated Five."
  • Since his release, Santana has been committed to advocating and educating people on the disparities in America’s criminal justice system.
  • Santana tweeted award-winning director Ava DuVernay about the story of the Central Park Five, which led to it becoming the subject of the hit Netflix series, When They See Us. The four-part series not only became one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, but it also earned the streaming giant its most Emmy nominations with a total of 16. 
  • Santana now works closely with the Innocence Project and is a member of the New York City Justice League.
  • He owns the clothing company Park Madison NYC, named after his home city of New York.
Biography

On the night of April 19, 1989, a young woman was brutally attacked and raped in Central Park. When she recovered, she had no memory of the assault. Five boys, including Raymond Santana, were tried and convicted of the crime in a frenzied case that rocked the city. At the time, the defendants were between 14 and 16 years of age. They became known collectively as “The Central Park Five.”

On December 19, 2002, the convictions of the five men were overturned. The unidentified DNA in the Central Park Jogger Case – unlinked to any of the five – had finally met its owner, a convicted murderer and serial rapist who confessed. Santana had spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Now known as “The Exonerated Five,” the group has been committed to advocating and educating people on the disparities in America’s criminal justice system. The investigation of this conviction has raised questions regarding police coercion and false confessions, as well as the vulnerability of juveniles during police interrogations.

Santana tweeted award-winning director Ava DuVernay about the story of the Central Park Five, which led to it becoming the subject of the hit Netflix series, When They See Us. The four-part series not only became one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, but it also earned the streaming giant its most Emmy nominations with a total of 16. 

Santana now works closely with the Innocence Project and is a member of the New York City Justice League. He owns the clothing company Park Madison NYC, named after his home city of New York.

Reviews

This was a huge success. We loved Raymond!!

Afrikana Independent Film Festival

The event went wonderfully! Raymond was a great speaker, and there was great energy in the room. We couldn't have asked for a better experience with him.

University of South Florida

Raymond Santana is a wonderful, thoughtful human being who based on his life experiences has a lot of insight to share with college students

Penn State University

Raymond was absolutely amazing! Raymond was phenomenal when he spoke, and he made sure to connect with each and every student he met. WashU community learned a lot from his wisdom so I am glad we had the opportunity to host this event.

Washington University in St. Louis

Raymond was perfect and completely captured the attention of the sold-out crowd. Many people said this was the best "History Speaks" in the event's seven year history.

Oklahoma Christian University

Raymond was amazing! It was a truly great night.

Davidson College
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