Joel Burns

City councilman
Amid a rise in bullying and a rash of teen suicides, politician Joel Burns spoke up at an otherwise ordinary city council meeting and delivered a powerful message to teens tormented for being gay.

Why you should listen

As a city councilman for Fort Worth, Texas, Joel Burns serves on a number of local boards and commissions and works with neighborhood and professional groups to preserve and protect Fort Worth. He brings community leaders, neighborhood associations and developers to the same table to work together. Burns' agenda includes a plan for bringing light rail and commuter rail to the Fort Worth area.

In October of 2010, video of his courageous message to the targets of teen bullying went viral on the web.

What others say

“[My] story is for the young people who might be holding the gun tonight, or the rope or the pill bottle ... The attitudes of society will change. Please live long enough to be around to see it.” — Joel Burns

Joel Burns’ TED talk