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Speaker John Artis appears on African American program

February 19, 2004

Motivational speaker John Artis will speak at Coastal Carolina University on Thursday, Feb. 26 as part of the universitys African-American Celebration. The program will be at 7 p.m. in Wall Auditorium; it is free and open to the public.

Artis, who was arrested with prizefighter Rubin Hurricane Carter in 1966 and convicted of a triple murder he did not commit, was finally exonerated and released, with Carter, after 15 years of imprisonment. He now works with troubled youth in Portsmouth, Va., and is an inspirational speaker on college campuses around the nation. He counsels youth on the downfalls of drug use, gang membership and the importance of education.

In 1985, a federal judge overturned Artis and Carters convictions, rebuking the prosecution for constitutional violations as heinous as the crimes for which (the two men) were tried and convicted. Three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the federal courts decision overturning the murder convictions.

Artis appearance continues Coastals African-American Celebration, a series of events through early April that promote the art, history, music and theater of the African-American culture. It is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Services. All events are free and open to the public. Call 349-2863 for more information.