I was honored this week to spend two days at The Global Leadership Summit. The event is broadcast live annually with partners across the United States-550 premier host sites reaching 150, 000 + leaders. It’s also broadcast in prisons and 128 countries. The speakers were all incredible. Make sure your country is a host site for next year.
The story that stood out for me the most came from Bryan Stevenson. A highly acclaimed activist and lawyer he has dedicated his life to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned through his leadership of the Equal Justice Initiative. He has successfully argued several cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and his TED Talk has more than 3 million views. He’s the best-selling author of Just Mercy. His own life story, a story of justice and redemption, is beyond humbling. He shared some hard facts, asked hard questions and offered meaningful solutions. Here’s a few points to ponder from Bryan’s talk ;
1. The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The Bureau of Justice has found that one in three black babies will go to jail.
2. America is a very broken society with very broken systems. Why do we want to kill all the broken people i.e. the poor, suffering, children, mentally ill, addicted, veterans?
IT’S THE BROKEN THAT UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF MERCY AND REDEMPTION.
3. In America we don’t talk about race. A true narrative of racial difference can liberate us. We need to talk about the genocide of natives, slavery, and lynching in this country. Other countries make you listen to their past atrocities, for example, (Rwanda, South Africa, Nazi Germany, Northern Ireland are getting there).
4. The judicial system, in certain states, is sending kids to prison for life where they can be raped over and over and over again from the very first night they go to prison.
5. We need leaders who can lead through the uncomfortable and are willing to do uncomfortable things.
6. We need leaders who are not afraid to get up close to the poor and the suffering.
THE OPPOSITE OF POVERTY IS JUSTICE