TED Talk Tuesday – Bryan Stevenson: We Need To Talk About An Injustice

There is no single quote that I can pull that fully embodies the magnitude of this talk. The situations that Bryan Stevenson, lawyer, activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, discuss are heartbreaking and eye-opening. It is a broken system that we live in, yet complacency is the norm. What I struggle the most with is trying to comprehend how people do not understand that our survival as a species is dependent upon our entire survival as a species. In other words, we are only people because of other people and when one of us suffers we all suffer. There is a massive disconnect among people, a lack of reverence for our innate humanity, and its power to destroy us and what we hold dear is frightening. ” We need to find ways to embrace these challenges, these problems, the suffering. Because ultimately, our humanity depends on everyone’s humanity.” ~ Bryan Stevenson 

Ultimately, you judge the character of a society, not by how they treat their rich and the powerful and the privileged, but by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated. Because it’s in that nexus that we actually begin to understand truly profound things about who we are.

Well I believe that our identity is at risk. That when we actually don’t care about these difficult things, the positive and wonderful things are nonetheless implicated. We love innovation. We love technology. We love creativity. We love entertainment. But ultimately,those realities are shadowed by suffering, abuse, degradation, marginalization. And for me, it becomes necessary to integrate the two. Because ultimately we are talking about a need to be more hopeful, more committed, more dedicated to the basic challenges of living in a complex world. And for me that means spending time thinking and talking about the poor, the disadvantaged, those who will never get to TED. But thinking about them in a way that is integrated in our own lives.

Well that orientation of the spirit is very much at the core of what I believe even TED communities have to be engaged in. There is no disconnect around technology and designthat will allow us to be fully human until we pay attention to suffering, to poverty, to exclusion, to unfairness, to injustice.


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