Justin J. Pearson is a Tennessee state representative, community organizer and advocate for social and environmental justice.

Why you should listen

As the Democratic Representative for District 86 in Memphis, Tennessee, Justin J. Pearson is a dedicated leader in the environmental and social justice movements. He is the cofounder of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, a Black-led environmental justice organization that successfully defeated plans to build a crude oil pipeline through their community. He is also the co-lead and strategic advisor for Poor People's Campaign: National Call for Moral Revival, an organization advocating for the rights of low-income people across the country.
In April 2023, Pearson and two of his colleagues in the Tennessee state legislature led a march for gun control from the House floor just days after a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school. Pearson and Rep. Justin Jones, both Black men, were expelled from the legislature in a vote along party lines, while the third organizer, Rep. Gloria Johnson, was not. After national outcry, Pearson and Jones were reinstated to their elected posts, where they pledged to continue to fight for reform.

Justin J. Pearson’s TED talk

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Live from TED Countdown Summit 2023

Renewal: Notes from Session 5 of TED Countdown Summit 2023

July 13, 2023

For Session 5 of TED Countdown Summit 2023, seven speakers underscored the urgency for collective action, highlighting the growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events; insights on the electric vehicle revolution; the interconnectedness of deforestation, pandemics and climate change; the crucial role of leadership in climate justice and more. The event: Talks from Session […]

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