Aaron Richter—Contour/Getty Images

Jharrel Jerome

Jharrel-Jerome-TIME-100-Next Aaron Richter—Contour/Getty Images 

Watching Jharrel Jerome film scenes for When They See Us and witnessing his well-deserved win at the Emmys—he took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie—was like a life-after-death experience for me. Jharrel was my reincarnation. He didn’t just play my younger self; he represented the little Korey inside of me. It was a dream come true. I hope he will continue to grow in his success.

When They See Us brought more attention to our story, but it is up to the people to use the series’ many lessons as tools to shape their own lives and decisions. If people see it and are moved by it, hopefully real change will occur.

Wise is an advocate for criminal-justice reform and one of the Central Park Five

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