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YOUR NAME IS JUAN RIVERA
We are proud to present the local premiere of Your Name is Juan Rivera, a documentary about the life of Juan Rivera, who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned in the Illinois Department of Corrections for 20 years.
Your Name is Juan Rivera is presented by Lake Forest College’s Humanities 2020, a partnership initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that works to enhance and advance humanities education through engagement with the issue of racism in the Chicagoland area. By raising awareness, educating our community, and supporting initiatives that resist racism, we hope to build a forward-looking, aspirational future.
Juan Rivera spent 20 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. After years of appeals and work with Northwestern’s Center for Wrongful Convictions, Juan was exonerated with DNA evidence. Juan won a civil suit for his wrongful conviction and opened Legacy Barber College with the mission to empower individuals by creating opportunities for financial independence, personal growth, and life alternatives through the art and community of barbering. The curriculum at LBC strives to include personal development with financial literacy seminars, GED workshops, job readiness training, and internship opportunities. In addition to creating LBC, Juan was the founder of the not-for-profit JustIS 4 JustUS. J4J assists individuals that have been wrongfully incarcerated with the many challenges associated with reentry into society. Juan advocates for incarcerated juveniles, fellow exonerees, and reforming ex-incarcerates with speaking engagements in high schools, law schools, podcasts, and innocence conventions.
The Legacy Barber College trains at-risk youth and formally incarcerated individuals skills that can lead to small business ownership and a career. Rivera is active in finding funders to support students’ tuition and legacy programming.
A Q & A with Juan Rivera, Dan Asma, the Lake County investigator who worked to clear Rivera’s name, and Buddha Jones, the documentary filmmaker, will follow the screening.
Dan Asma is co-owner of Buddha Jones, a Los Angeles theatrical motion picture marketing agency. Buddha Jones has been producing trailers and tv campaigns for all of the major studios for 15 years. It started as a small boutique and has grown into a robust creative community of over 120 employees.
Dave Asma is supervisor of the Investigations Division of the Lake County Public Defender’s office, where he has been employed as a criminal investigator since 1988. He holds a master’s degree in Sociology from Northern Illinois University and is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the College of Lake County. He frequently lectures on topics in investigation techniques and false confession.
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