TEDx Talk: Education for social change

/ 30 November 2014 / Shawna
Artika Tyner, Daily Planet, November 30, 2014

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Planting People, Growing Justice

What is in your hands to make a difference in the world? Dr. Artika Tyner raises this important question during each student interaction. Dr. Tyner shared her thoughts on taking action to reimagine education at the inaugural at TEDxUniversityofStThomas. The title of her TEDx Talk was: Education for Social Change. Her vision for reimagining education begins with placing an explicit focus on leadership development and social justice advocacy.

In her talk, the educator and civil rights attorney shared her experience of transforming the classroom into a learning laboratory where students experiment by applying their technical training to address the social justice challenges of our time.

Over the past eight years at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Tyner has reimagined education with the help of her students. Together, they have advanced justice in the arenas of criminal justice, juvenile justice and education. For Dr. Tyner this is a dream come true since she always wanted to become Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire. “Basically, Wonderwoman with a law degree and an afro,” Tyner says in her talk. She was determined to use her education in the struggle for justice.

Dr. Tyner and her students have leveraged their legal training as a tool in order to address some of the barriers often hidden but a lived reality for those living at the margins of society. They moved beyond a traditional law school of curriculum of representing a handful of clients each semester to focusing on systemic change- changing the underlying policies which were closing the doors to access for many.

Case in point, Dr. Tyner’s team in partnership with TakeAction MN fought to create equal access to jobs and to end the racial jobs gap. When 1 in 4 Americans (65 million) have a criminal record this often times restricts one’s ability to gain employment. This coalition fought to make sure that barriers would be removed so people who have a second chance to secure employment and a second chance to define their destiny.

Dr. Tyner is building a social change movement by reimagining education and reimagining the very essence of community. Her work is inspiring students across the globe to unleash the transformative power within their hands. “The power to move beyond race, tribe, and creed to our shared humanity and shared destiny,” Tyner says in her talk. Will you join Dr. Tyner in taking a stand for justice and freedom?

You can watch Dr. Tyner’s speech on the TEDx channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5QHAhMYwoA