Texas Tech University

Texas Tech to Host Diversity Lecture in Honor of Black History Month

Bri Lopez

February 8, 2022

Criminal justice reform advocate Kevin Richardson will address the issues of being a person of color when dealing with the criminal justice system.

WHAT: Diversity lecture for Black History Month at Texas Tech University  

Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson

WHEN:  7 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 15) 

WHERE:  Lanier Auditorium, School of Law and virtually via Zoom 

EVENT: The Office of Institutional Diversity will host “An Evening with Kevin D. Richardson,” who will provide his personal experience and insights into the injustices brought on by the criminal justice system.  

Richardson, an African American, was tried and wrongfully convicted in 1989 alongside four of his black friends for the brutal assault and rape of a 27-year-old female in Central Park.  

At the time of arrest, the five convicted men, who later became known as the Central Park Five, were just boys. Kevin, the youngest of the group, was only 14 years old. Despite the lack of hard evidence or DNA tying him to the crime, Richardson was sentenced to 5-10 years in jail and put on a sex offenders list for a crime he did not commit.  

In 2002, after serving 5 ½ years in jail and three years on probation, Richardson was exonerated of all crimes due to the advancement of mitochondrial DNA testing that ultimately proved he and his four friends were innocent.  

Since then, Richardson has devoted his life to helping those wrongfully accused, partnering with the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that aims to reform the criminal justice system and prevent future injustices.  

“I am excited to learn from Mr. Richardson. His personal experiences uniquely qualify him to provide insight on the historical impacts that the criminal justice system has had on Blacks and others in this country. Since being exonerated, he has tirelessly dedicated his life to the exoneration of the wrongly convicted and to reformation of the system, to prevent injustices in the future,” said Cory Powell, director of Texas Tech's Office of Institutional Diversity. 

This event is free and open to the public.  

CONTACT:  Cory Powell
Director, Office of Institutional Diversity, Texas Tech University 
(806) 834-0991