A TED talk at its best. Bryan Stevenson on Incarceration and Injustice.
At TED’s flagship conference this past spring, in Long Beach, California, Bryan Stevenson, who heads the Equal Justice Initiative, took to the stage to give a TED talk for the first time. He prepared less exhaustively than many TED presenters do: he told me that he’d planned his remarks in large part on the flight over. (Stevenson, whose work included arguing Miller v. Alabama before the Supreme Court later that month, had a busy spring.) Yet his lecture was a perfect expression of everything a TED talk, at its best, achieves. Stevenson approaches an issue of national concern—in this case, hidden prejudices and injustices of America legal procedure—through a series of personal stories, giving the issue a warm emotional valence. As the talk drew to a close, you could feel excitement gathering in the Long Beach theatre; when Stevenson finished, he received a long, ecstatic standing ovation—the biggest of the conference. Many veteran TEDsters call this kind of thrill a “TED moment.”
This was one of Five Key TED Talks listed by Nathan Heller at the New Yorker.