“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” ~ Bryan Stevenson ~ TED

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” ~ Bryan Stevenson ~ TED

Bryan Stevenson gives an inspiring, courageous TED talk that’s a bit hard to describe.


He spoke about identity, and how the identity we hold of ourselves and the identity assigned to us by others (government, family, friends, witnesses) has tremendous power in what we believe we can do and how we are treated by others.

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

He explained how the poor are many times more likely to be convicted and imprisoned than the wealthy, and how the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any civilized country.

“Opposite of poverty in not wealth…The opposite of poverty is justice.

And how in some states, if you have been convicted of a felony crime, for the rest of your life you can never vote again.

He talked about how judges have the magical power to turn a child into an adult. So Bryan asked the judge to use those powers to turn his 13 year-old black child charged with murder into a white 70 year-old business executive charged with murder.

“We will not be judged by our technology, or our design, we won’t be judged by our intellect or reason…You judge the character of a society…by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated”

“Keep you eyes on the prize, and hold on.”

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice | Video on TED.com

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