From TED: In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

Bryan Stevenson is executive director of Equal Justice Initiative.

Stevenson: “I believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. If somebody tells a lie, they’re not just a liar. If somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them, they’re not just a thief. If you kill someone, you’re not just a killer. And because of that, there’s this basic human dignity that must be respected by law.”

Stevenson: “I’ve come to TED because I believe that many of you understand that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. That we cannot be fully evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic dignity. That all of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone. That our visions of technology and design and entertainment and creativity have to be married with the visions of humanity, compassion and justice. And more than anything for those of you who share that, I’ve simply come to tell you to keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.”