People of Color in TED Talks

The college students I teach are (most often) people of color, and most of the videos my studies and networks suggest to me to emphasize effective presentation skills or critical thinking ideas or writing steps do not feature people of color. I think it’s important for my students to see people of color in celebrated, nerdy positions.

Here is one of my sample lists in no particular order; it features people of color in TED Talks:


1 – Clint Smith – The Danger of Silence

2 – Shaka Senghor – Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You

3 – Jamila Lyiscott – 3 Ways to Speak English

4 – Wes Moore – How to Talk to Veterans about the War

5 – George Takei – Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me

6 – Sarah Lewis – Embrace the Near Win

7 – Maya Penn – Meet a Young Entrepreneur

8 – Toni Griffin – A New Vision for Rebuilding Detroit

4 thoughts on “People of Color in TED Talks

  1. Thank you for posting these! I love using TED talks and notice that many are by older white people; every semester I look for videos by people of color from different age groups. Your list is a great resource.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I hope you and your students find these videos inspirational / useful.

  3. Thank you! This is very helpful. Most of my students are people of color in their mid-twenties interested in the trades. It has been difficult to find Ted Talks which represent their interests and communities.

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