Searching for Freedom from the Prison Industrial Complex- Dr. Yusef Salaam

In this month’s episode, student guest hosts Imani Muhammad and Tavian Cervantez sit down with a heroic figure, Dr. Yusef Salaam.

Dr. Salaam visited Augustana’s campus on March 7th in commemoration of the Black Power Symposium organized in 1969 by students in Augustana’s Afro-American Society, which currently is called the Black Student Union.

Dr. Salaam is a member of the “Exonerated Five,” a group of Black and Latino teens falsely charged and subsequently convicted of a brutal attack and rape in 1989 in New York City’s Central Park. After six years and eight months in prison, Dr. Salaam was exonerated. His experience led him to advocate for criminal justice reform, earn a doctorate and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama.

Dr. Salaam uses his platform as one of the famed
“Exonerated Five” to speak out against the prison industrial complex in hopes for a more just
society. Our interview covers the spiritual roots of Dr. Salaam’s powerful message and contextualizes
religious doctrine through contemporary problems such as racism, tribalism, and personal struggle.