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Disproportionality Keynote Speaker

Anthony Ray Hinton, New York Times best-selling author will join the Buffalo Public Schools and district community stakeholders at their monthly “Disproportionality-Culturally Responsive Education” training sessions which work to dismantle systemic racism and oppression in schools and the district community. Anthony Ray Hinton's story is a decades-long journey to exoneration and freedom.

In 1985, Mr. Hinton was wrongly convicted of the unsolved murders of two fast-food restaurant managers and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. With the assistance of the Equal Justice Initiative, led by attorney Bryan Stevenson, the charges against Mr. Hinton were dismissed and he was declared innocent. His story is indicative of the rush to judgement and overcriminalization of Black and Latino males which leads to hyper mass-incarceration. As we work to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by eradicating racialized suspension and special education enrollment outcomes for scholars of color, Mr. Hinton's story is a reminder of how justice and fairness can be silenced and delayed systematically, especially for males of color in our schools and our communities.

Mr. Hinton served 30 years of his life on death row, before being freed and released from prison in 2015! Since his release, Mr. Hinton has traveled the world sharing his story and discussing the changes that need to be made to prevent similar injustices from happening to other people. In 2018, Mr. Hinton published The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and is a New York Times bestseller. In 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Bonaventure University.

In 2020, the movie, which is based upon the book, Just Mercy, featured Anthony Ray Hinton's story. Dr. Fatima Morrell, Associate Superintendent for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives is excited to bring this powerful distinguished speaker to the Buffalo Public School's Disproportionality Sessions to continue courageous conversations related to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, building the school to justice pipeline, while also centering hope and healing for our scholars and the district community.