Lesra Martin, Lawyer Who Freed The Hurricane

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in conjunction with the other four colleges of the Connect partnership (Bridgewater State College, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, and Massasoit Community College) will host a three- day lecture series featuring attorney Lesra Martin, renowned for his life-long commitment to equal justice and for his brilliant defense of Rubin "the Hurricane" Carter. Mr. Martin will offer a lecture at each of the five Connect partners between February 11-13, 2004.

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in conjunction with the other four colleges of the Connect partnership (Bridgewater State College, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, and Massasoit Community College) will host a three- day lecture series featuring attorney Lesra Martin, renowned for his life-long commitment to equal justice and for his brilliant defense of Rubin "the Hurricane" Carter. Mr. Martin will offer a lecture at each of the five Connect partners between February 11-13, 2004. 

Lesra Martin, the attorney whose life is the basis for the 1999 film, The Hurricane, starring Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington, will be speaking at the University's and Bristol Community College’s downtown New Bedford Star Store Campus on Wednesday, February 11th at 11:45 AM. The lecture is free and open to students and faculty from the CONNECT schools as well as to the general public. Seating at the Star Store lecture hall is somewhat limited and guests are encouraged to arrive early. 

Mr. Martin grew up in poverty in a violence-ridden section of New York City, but was motivated to educate himself and realize a purpose for his life. After learning about the questionable 1960s conviction of prizefighter Rubin “Hurricane” Carter for murder, Mr. Martin decided to become a lawyer, with the intention of exonerating Mr. Carter and freeing him from prison. Mr. Martin’s story is moving and compelling, and he is a captivating, dynamic speaker. Through use of a documentary video, his own remarks, and by interacting with his audience during a question and answer session, Mr. Martin lays out an inspiring message of hope and the power of education. 

“Lesra Martin has a powerful story that is of great interest and importance to the students at UMass and BCC,” said UMD Chancellor Jean MacCormack. “ This lecture series is a good example of the real collaboration between UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College and the CONNECT higher education partnership. 

Letters of invitation, co-signed by Chancellor MacCormack and BCC President John Sbrega, were sent to local and state elected officials and community leaders from New Bedford and Fall River area. 

Mr. Martin will deliver a second lecture and presentation at the University’s main campus on Friday, February 13th at 10:00AM in the library browsing area. Parking is available in lot 13. Lesra Martin’s appearance is sponsored by the CONNECT public higher education partnership as part of its celebration of Black History Month. 

For additional information about the Lesra Martin lecture series, please contact Dr. Frederick Gifun at 508-999-8601 


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