Tearful and profound, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were presented with the Roger Baldwin Courage Award by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
The ceremony took place on Friday (June 6) with actor Michael B. Jordan presenting the men with the honor during the ACLU SoCal’s 25th Annual Luncheon, Associated Press reports. Since the release of the Ava DuVernay-directed film, When They See Us, the men have been praised for their bravery after they were wrongfully convicted of a rape they didn’t commit. The inaugural Roger Baldwin Courage Award was named after the ACLU’s co-founder and its first executive director.
“It’s dangerous in America when you’re living in a black body,” Jordan said before presenting the award. “The whole time that these men were incarcerated, they never changed their story. They insisted of their innocence even as they did their time.”
“I’m not ashamed to cry in front of you,” Salaam said. Then men were between 13 and 16 years old when they were wrongfully convicted. “Our story is a story of an egregious miscarriage of justice.”
See more photos from the event below.