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Yusef salaam to keynote black history month closing ceremony
Exonerated "Central Park Five" Defendant To Be Joined by NFL Tight End Will Tye

STONY BROOK, NY, February 18, 2016 – Stony Brook University will celebrate its Black History Month closing event on Feb. 24, 2016 by commemorating and acknowledging the accomplishments of two black leaders and pioneers. Keynote speaker, Yusef Salaam, a member of the award winning film, “The Central Park Five”, will share his story of resiliency and triumph. Will Tye, Tight End for the New York Giants, will be honored for his accomplishments as the first Stony Brook football player to join the NFL. The event will be held at the Student Activities Ballroom A from 8 – 11 p.m. and is open to the Stony Brook University community and their guests.

At the closing ceremony, there will also be live performances and presentations from Stony Brook student groups and organizations. 

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Yusef Salaam

About the Guests:  

Yusef Salaam is a leader, motivator and thinker who is a proponent of social justice. He is also one of the teens falsely accused and convicted of raping the “Central Park Jogger.” 

  • Background: On April 19, 1989, a woman, dubbed the “Central Park Jogger”, was brutally raped and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park. Five teens from Harlem, known as the Central Park Five,—four black and one Latino—were falsely accused, tried and convicted of the crime. In 2002, after the Central Park Five spent between seven and 13 years of their lives behind bars, the sentences were overturned. A convicted murderer and rapist serving a life sentence confessed.
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Will Tye

Will Tye is a Tight End for NFL’s New York Giants. Tye signed with the New York Giants for the 2015 season and scored his first NFL touchdown during a win over the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 14, 2015. At Stony Brook, Tye played in 23 games with 18 starts in two seasons after transferring from Florida State. His 2-year totals were 79 catches for 1,015 yards and 9 touchdowns. Tye is originally from Middletown, Conn.

Black History Month at Stony Brook University
Throughout Black History Month, Stony Brook University has provided a number of educational, cultural and historical events that celebrated the theme, “Sankofa: Together We Will Rise.” The concept of Sankofa has its origin in Ghana, West Africa and, when translated, means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”

The Black History Month Opening Ceremony is coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Black History Month Committee. For a current calendar of events visit, http://www.stonybrook.edu/blackhistory. All events are open to the Stony Brook University community and their guests.

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About Stony Brook University

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 100 universities in the nation and top 40 public universities, and Kiplinger names it one of the 35 best values in public colleges. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. A global ranking by U.S. News & World Report places Stony Brook in the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide. It is one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the liberal arts college of the university, with 26 academic departments, over 450 faculty and 12,000 students.  It is also host to the renowned Humanities Institute at Stony Brook.  As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

Reporter Contact:  Alida Almonte    
631-632-6310; Twitter @sbunewsdesk