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Bryan Stevenson -We need to talk about an injustice
Transcript of Bryan Stevenson -We need to talk about an injustice
This is our intrepretation of Bryan Stevenson's Talk - We need to talk about an injustice (May 2012, California) &
I had the great privilege, when I was a young lawyer, of meeting Rosa Parks. Ms. Parks used to come back to Montgomery every now and then, and she would get together with two of her dearest friends. One time I was over there listening to these women talk, and after a couple of hours Ms. Parks turned to me.... Now Bryan, tell me what the Equal Justice Initiative is. Tell me what you're trying to do. We're trying to challenge injustice.
We're trying to help people who have been wrongly convicted.
We're trying to end life without parole sentences for children.
We're trying to do something about the death penalty.
We're trying to end mass incarceration. And that's why you've got to be brave, brave, brave. BRYAN STEVENSON (52) Mmm mmm mmm boy. That's going to make you tired, tired, tired. So, what does this mean for the identity of our society? We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. We should spend time thinking and talking about the poor, the disadvantaged. Those who will never get to TED. Because I was up too late, wasn't thinking real straight, I started working on a motion. As I was walking up the steps of the courthouse, there was an older black man who was the janitor in this courthouse. He came over to me and he said, "Who are you?" I said, "I'm a lawyer." He said, "You're a lawyer?" I said, "Yes, sir." And this man came over to me and he hugged me. And he whispered in my ear. He said, "I'm so proud of you." Well I went into the courtroom and as soon as I walked inside, the judge saw me coming in. He said, "Mr. Stevenson, did you write this crazy motion?" I said, "Yes, sir. I did." So, what's wrong with our criminal justice system? I had a client who was 13 years old: a young, poor black kid. The head of the motion was: "Motion to try my poor, 13-year-old black male client like a privileged, white 75-year-old corporate executive. The next morning, I woke up and I thought, now did I dream that crazy motion, or did I actually write it? And to my horror, not only had I written it, but I had sent it to court. 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.
And I have to tell you,
it was energizing. It connected deeply with something in me about identity, about the capacity of every person to contribute to a community, to a perspective that is hopeful. We started arguing. And people started coming in because they were just outraged. I had written these crazy things. And police officers were coming in and assistant prosecuters and clerk workers. And before I knew it, the courtroom was filled with people angry that we were talking about race, that we were talking about poverty, that we were talking about inequality. I came into this courtroom to tell this young man, keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. Then.. the janitor who I met in front of the courthouse came in. There was a deputy sheriff who was offended that the janitor had come into court. And this deputy jumped up and he ran over to this older black man. He said, "Jimmy, what are you doing in this courtroom?" And this older black man stood up and he looked at that deputy and he looked at me and he said.... Founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative Professor at New York University of Law Graduated Eastern College and Harvard Law School We cannot be fully evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic dignity.
All of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone.
Our visions of technology and design and entertainment and creativity have to be married with visions of humanity, compassion and justice.
For those of you who share that, I've simply come to tell you... to keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. This presentation is our interpretation of Bryan Stevenson's
Talk - We need to talk about an injustice (May 2012, California) For more information on Bryan Stevenson or the Equal Justice Initiative please have a look at http://www.eji.org/ Concept and design by: & http://www.mrprezident.com http://www.jongensvandetekeningen.nl/ Entry for the Prezi - Ideas Matter Contest Thank you for taking an interest in our work.
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