Written by Mariebelle Sawma


How often do we talk about racial injustice and does it exist among our communities? What happens when we watch police brutality and discrimination unfold on media? The truth is, we may not relate or even understand it. We need to overcome the disconnection and acknowledge that racial discrimination exists. TED’s mission has always been to share ideas worth spreading – and right now, ideas that call for justice, equity and inclusion matter more than ever.

Over the years, TED and TEDxYYC have featured talks that unpack systemic racism. Here are three powerful TED talks to watch now.


Three Myths About Racism

Smith challenges us to think of a world post-racism. Start with a shared definition and understanding of what racism is. Widen the narrow view of racism and recognize that it is not going away with the older generation. We must agree to be anti-racist,and then pass on these values to our children. Smith believes that we can diversify our communities and create a more egalitarian society. Afterall, people made racial disparities, so people can unmake them.

Dr. Candis-Watts Smith, is an associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Penn State University. She has written two books about racism in the United States, Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter and Black Mosaic: The Politics of Black Pan-Ethnic Diversity.


Let’s Talk About Race

Dr. Jennifer Chernega highlights how unaware most of us are of everyday racial injustice. Racism is prevalent in all parts of the world, yet it is rarely discussed. When we stop talking about racism, it doesn’t go away, it just becomes harder to understand and counter. Instead, Chernega recommends coming up with language that helps us study racism more effectively. We can not remain silent, we need to listen to one another and talk about our differences and diversity to combat racism.


50 Years of Racism – Why Silence Isn’t the Answer

James A. White, Sr shares his personal story of dealing with injustice in the United States, to help us understand the reality of racism that hasn’t changed enough in his lifetime. Fifty years ago, James was looking for an apartment for himself and his family in Idaho. After repeated rejections based on the colour of his skin, he settled for a trailer home. The injustice continued, finding a parking slot for his trailer or renting a room in a motel was impossible. James and his family travelled across the country, from Idaho to Pennsylvania, and regardless of the state racism was everywhere. Now fifty years later, racism is still prevalent. James has dedicated his life to challenging injustice. The first thing we need to do is to unveil racism and to do that we must talk about racism regularly in non-black communities. By taking a collective step forward, speaking on the subject, and no longer accepting injustice – only then can we begin to eradicate racism.