playlist

What is privilege?

These talks offer a crash course on what it means to have privilege — from race and class to education, health and beyond.

  1. 8:47
    Michael Sandel The tyranny of merit

    What accounts for our polarized public life, and how can we begin to heal it? Political philosopher Michael Sandel offers a surprising answer: those who have flourished need to look in the mirror. He explores how "meritocratic hubris" leads many to believe their success is their own doing and to look down on those who haven't made it, provoking resentment and inflaming the divide between "winners" and "losers" in the new economy. Hear why we need to reconsider the meaning of success and recognize the role of luck in order to create a less rancorous, more generous civic life.

  2. 10:15
    Nita Mosby Tyler Want a more just world? Be an unlikely ally

    A more equal world starts with you. Citing a formative moment from her own life, equity advocate Nita Mosby Tyler highlights why showing up and fighting for others who face injustices beyond your own lived experience leads to a fairer, more just future for all.

  3. 13:18
    Hasan Kwame Jeffries Why we must confront the painful parts of US history

    To move forward in the United States, we must look back and confront the difficult history that has shaped widespread injustice. Revisiting a significant yet overlooked piece of the past, Hasan Kwame Jeffries emphasizes the need to weave historical context, no matter how painful, into our understanding of modern society — so we can disrupt the continuum of inequality massively affecting marginalized communities.

  4. 6:50
    Stephen DeBerry Why the "wrong side of the tracks" is usually the east side of cities

    What do communities on the social, economic and environmental margins have in common? For one thing, they tend to be on the east sides of cities. In this short talk about a surprising insight, anthropologist and venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry explains how both environmental and man-made factors have led to disparity by design in cities from East Palo Alto, California to East Jerusalem and beyond — and suggests some elegant solutions to fix it.

  5. 12:29
    Brittney Cooper The racial politics of time

    Cultural theorist Brittney Cooper examines racism through the lens of time, showing us how historically it has been stolen from people of color, resulting in lost moments of joy and connection, lost years of healthy quality of life and the delay of progress. A candid, thought-provoking take on history and race that may make you reconsider your understanding of time, and your place in it.

  6. 18:21
    John Biewen The lie that invented racism

    To understand and eradicate racist thinking, start at the beginning. That's what journalist and documentarian John Biewen did, leading to a trove of surprising and thought-provoking information on the "origins" of race. He shares his findings, supplying answers to fundamental questions about racism — and lays out an exemplary path for practicing effective allyship.

  7. 12:09
    Keith Payne The psychology of inequality and political division

    "If we want to fix our politics, we have to do something about inequality," says social psychologist Keith Payne. Showing how economic inequality changes the way people see and behave towards one another, Payne helps explain the rise of the political polarization that's slicing up society — and challenges us to think twice the next time we dismiss someone for the sake of politics.

  8. 51:14
    Ibram X. Kendi The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist

    There is no such thing as being "not racist," says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs. Learn how you can actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world — and replace it with love. (This virtual interview, hosted by TED's current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and speaker development curator Cloe Shasha, was recorded June 9, 2020.)

  9. 10:16
    Barry Schwartz What role does luck play in your life?

    Chance plays a far bigger role in life than we're willing to admit, says psychologist Barry Schwartz. Of course, working hard and following the rules can get you far — but the rest could boil down to simple good fortune. Schwartz examines the overlooked link between luck, merit and success, offering an intriguing solution to equalize opportunity — starting with college admissions.

  10. 14:21
    Heather C. McGhee Racism has a cost for everyone

    Racism makes our economy worse — and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential — and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided."