Rachel Coleman, Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina), April 22, 2009
The woman involved in the Duke University lacrosse team scandal more than three years ago will make a rare public appearance today at UNC as part of an event about social injustice.
Crystal Gail Mangum, who accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006, will speak in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center about “the harsh realities of minority treatment both in the justice system and the media,” according to the event’s press release.
The lacrosse players were later declared innocent by Attorney General Roy Cooper, who said Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong rushed to accuse based on false information.
The event series, called “Cracks in the Justice System: Victims of Money, Media, and Misconduct,” is led by Theta Nu Xi Inc. sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. and Lambda Upsilon Lambda Inc. fraternities.
“This is an issue that everyone knows about, but we have never heard her voice,” said Daniele Dickerson, a sophomore and member of Theta Nu Xi.
The speech will focus on legal and publicity issues within the case, but Mangum will not speak about her involvement with the Duke lacrosse team.
The event’s hosts said they are not trying to declare guilt or innocence by holding the event, but simply want to allow Mangum a chance to share her experiences.
“I hope this will be well-received by the University and maybe open people’s minds concerning the justice system,” said Derrika Wright, a junior who helped plan the event.
Organizers are ensuring that security will be present at the event in light of last week’s protests that prevented former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo from speaking.
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