As a youth, Kevin Richardson had aspirations of attending Syracuse University. That goal was swiftly altered in April 1989 when he along with four other teenage black boys were arrested and falsely charged for the rape and assault of a white woman in Central Park, New York City.
Dubbed by the media as “The Central Park 5,” Richardson, Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana served an extensive amount of time before the charges were vacated in 2002, and received a $41 settlement in 2014.
Now, Richardson’s dreams of being associated with Syracuse University have come to fruition when the college announced a scholarship in his name. According to The Daily Orange, the endowment will benefit black and Latino students, an opportunity that Richardson said he’s “thrilled just to be connected to the university 30 years later,” per ABC. According to Rachel Vassel of the Office of Multicultural Advancement, the scholarship has raised $25,000 and hopes it’ll “continue to grow it over the years.”
“When I was incarcerated, I always thought about what could have happened, so it will be bittersweet because I know that, wow, this could have been me when I was younger on campus,” Richardson continued. “But just to be there will surpass the negative things that happened to me in my childhood.” As a talented trumpet player, Richardson had hopes of continuing his studies at the New York state school. In June, a petition called for the university to celebrate Richardson with an honorary degree.
In May, Netflix released When They See Us, a four-episode program directed by Ava DuVernay that detailed the case against the Exonerated 5. The program received 16 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Casting For a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Cinematography For a Limited Series or Movie, and Outstanding Limited Series.