Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Why you should listen

Bryan Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees

What others say

“Bryan Stevenson blew my my mind, engaged my heart, and inspired my soul.” — Diego Rodriguez

Bryan Stevenson’s TED talks

Bryan Stevenson on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 3 at TED2014

March 20, 2014

Day 3 at TED2014 was dense with science, design, conversation. Here’s a quick recap of some highlights: Hugh Herr and Adrianne Haslet-Davis’s surprise dance Hugh Herr is a bionics designer and multiple amputee. He gave a talk that was half mind-blowing — full of extraordinary advances in prosthetics, like bionic designs that produce the same forces […]

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Live from TED2014

Power poses, idea technologies and the Internet’s birthday: A recap of “Where are we now?” All-Stars Session 3 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

By Liz Jacobs and Ben Lillie Taking stock of our moment in history helps us better understand ourselves, our societies and the present moment itself  — which often gets lost in the temptation to look backwards or forwards. And at TED2014: The Next Chapter we’re doing plenty of both. But we’re also designating this All-Stars […]

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News

TED News in Brief: Bryan Stevenson speaks out on circumventing mandatory minimum sentencing, Emily Oster takes back her pregnancy

August 13, 2013

Over the past week, we’ve noticed a lot of fascinating TED-related news items. Here, some highlights. Yesterday, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder announced a major relaxing of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug possession. He asked prosecutors to use their discretion when charging nonviolent, low-level offenders and opt not to list the quantities of drugs involved […]

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Quotes from Bryan Stevenson

We have a system of justice in [the US] that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. Wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes.
Bryan Stevenson
TED2012 • 1.8M views Mar 2012
Inspiring, Courageous
The opposite of poverty is not wealth. … In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.
Bryan Stevenson
TED2012 • 1.8M views Mar 2012
Inspiring, Courageous
It's that mind-heart connection that I believe compels us to not just be attentive to all the bright and dazzling things but also the dark and difficult things.
Bryan Stevenson
TED2012 • 1.8M views Mar 2012
Inspiring, Courageous