7 Must-Watch Ted-Talks

  1. 1. We Should All Be Feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    “We Should All Be Feminists” was my introduction to Ted Talks, and I am so glad it was. To say Adichie talk moved me would be an understatement. She articulated daily societal norms and constructs and posed ways to combat them far beyond anything my 15-year-old ears had ever heard. After watching this Ted Talk, a spark lit in my chest and mind. I was determined the spread her message and ideas about the formation of a society with anyone and everyone that would listen. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has become one of my biggest inspirations and I hold her dear to my heart because she is the one that jump-started who I am today. I highly recommend watching this talk. 


  2. 2. How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime: Nadine Burke Harris

    I recently watched this Ted Talk in class and found it highly informative on how we compartmentalize aspects of our society. Harris addresses our tendency to separate diagnoses into distinct categories in our health care system as opposed to looking at people holistically. By doing this, we ignore the larger structural issues that impact health, particularly those who have endured trauma. Harris examines trauma from a different lens and poses ways as to how to use preventative trauma-informed care in order to better health outcomes for the millions of people. A very insightful and powerful must-watch. 


  3. 3. I’m 17: Kate Simonds

    Kate Simonds talks about the difficulty of having your ideas recognized as a young person. Being a 17-year-old girl, Simonds feels she is often not taken seriously and is constantly met with microaggressions regarding her age. She empowers young people to value their ideas, even if adults make them feel invalid and to advocate for them. 


  4. 4. Healthcare: Is it a right or a luxury?: Tarik Sammour 

    Tarik Sammour’s Ted Talk delves into the injustices of the American health care system and how it leaves millions of people forever indebted to it, particularly those of lower socioeconomic statuses. Sammour discusses how our health care system is merely a large business that profits off of the literal paint and suffering of lower-class Americans who do not have access to health insurance. Even if you do not plan to go into any fields related to health care, I find this Ted Talk to be extremely important for everyone to see is that the health care system impacts us all and needs to be scrutinized and questioned more closely.


  5. 5. The Danger of a Single Story: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Reprising my hero with yet another amazing Ted Talk called “The Danger of a Single Story”. Adichie talks about how stereotypes have been spread through narratives dating back hundreds of years. She describes how the British and American books she read as a child conveyed a single story of upper-class white people who ate food, did activities, and had problems she could never relate to. The books that discussed parts of the world beyond the West, illustrated whole continents like Africa as uncivilized, and inferior, perpetuating stereotypes that still exist today. Adichie urges the audience to read beyond the single-story, to get a more accurate understanding of the many multidimensional narratives out there.

  6. 6. We Need to Talk about an Injustice: Bryan Stevenson


    Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson starts the difficult discussion of the racial injustices embedded in the American justice system in his talk. He informs that one third of black males in the US are incarcerated at least once and how the prison system itself was created as a means of legally containing and entrapping black people once slavery was abolished. A disturbingly eye-opening talk that reveals sides of the American story that continually go untold. I feel all Americans need to see.


  7. 7. Our Fight for Disability Rights and Why We’re Not Done Yet: Judith Heumann

    This is another Ted Talk I watched in class and found it extremely inspiring. Judith Heumann is a very well-known disability rights activist that has made great strides towards equality for the disabled community over the years. Being disabled herself, Heumann talks about the adversities she faced growing up, and how she was denied basic human rights on a daily basis. She encourages the audience to continue advocating for disability rights and what able-bodied allies can do to help in the movement. 


I hope you enjoyed this brief list of Ted Talks that I found thought-provoking and very important! As someone who enjoys Ted Talks but does not always have the time to watch them, I wanted to compile a list for others who also enjoy watching them but need that extra push. It can be difficult to take time out of our busy schedules for any leisure activity, let alone ones that require deep thinking and can often be difficult to hear, however, it is a great source to gain a greater understanding of the world around us and further develop ourselves as people.