On Wednesday night, FI for Black Lives organized discussions for the community to reflect on their experience and reactions to Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us." This miniseries tells the harrowing story of New York's Exonerated Five. It chronicles the wrongful arrest and incarceration of teenagers Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr. and Korey Wise. It explores how the five innocent teens were prejudged as guilty by a powerful criminal justice machine and examines how The Exonerated Five, their families, and their communities were rendered powerless against a racist criminal punishment system, coercive police interrogation practices, and sensationalist media coverage.
Around 30 members of the FI community gathered for meaningful small group discussions on personal reactions to the show, the role of race and systemic racism in the criminal justice system in the show, and what connections we can draw from the show to the current Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing protests.
Through BaketoDonate and these discussions, our community raised $3,000 for the Innocence Project, our biggest fundraiser to date! Thank you to all those who came to participate and reflect with us. It was a resounding success and we look forward to organizing another #WatchTogether event! Make sure to check our website August’s featured film announcement this coming week.
If you have not yet watched When They See Us, we encourage you to watch the miniseries and to keep the conversation going within our community.