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WCSU to host screening, discussion of “The Central Park Five”

DANBURY, CONN.— Western Connecticut State University will screen the film “The Central Park Five” at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Warner Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The film is a documentary that examines a 1989 case in which five black and Latino teenagers were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After each teen had spent between 6 and 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

The screening will be accompanied by commentary from Associate Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures Dr. Jennifer Duffy and Professor of English Dr. Don Gagnon. The screening will be free and the public is invited.

Duffy said, “I hope this film will provide historical context for today’s New York, a relatively safe, tourist-friendly space. This film will underscore the economic and political uncertainty of the 1970s and 1980s and the concomitant calls for aggressive privatization and policing. More importantly, I hope this screening can shed some crucial light on those who bear the cost of these troubling trends.”

Gagnon agreed. “I think the primary value of this film right now is its currency. While the gross injustice portrayed in the film may have happened almost 30 years ago, the currents that fed into it are still plaguing us. As a broad swath of the American citizenry finds itself at odds with public actions and statements about the continuing cycle of injustice against black Americans in particular, the country at large seems to find it impossible to agree upon a valid, viable solution. It’s a clear example of how ‘the law’ and ‘justice’ are not always working in tandem.”

This screening, though separate from WCSU’s celebration of Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, is in line with the ideology of the university in its efforts to support and enrich the advantages of its unique cultural composition. It was organized by Professor of History Dr. Marcy May and Lauren Kerton.

For more information, email May at



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.