Racial Justice: Mass Incarceration in America | Derik Smith

In this talk, produced by Bahaiteachings.org, Derik Smith, a teacher in the New York State Prison system, reflects on racial justice, unconscious bias and the inner human reality as a mirror capable of reflecting divine light. 

“I see that light of divinity shining within my students,” says Professor Derik Smith, “every time I enter the razor wire.” But he has also encountered bias –including being mistaken for someone who committed a crime rather than a professor of those who are incarcerated. In this riveting video, Smith passionately discusses unconscious bias and how it impacts poor black and brown people, who are unjustly deemed less worthy of love and compassion and more deserving of the harshest punishments a society can perpetuate. If we believe in justice, Dr. Smith proposes, we have to find ways to make it work, not just for some of us, but for all of us.

For more videos like this, check out Baha’i Teachings’ YouTube channel or visit Bahaiteachings.org. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also listen to our blogcast with Rainn Wilson where he interviews Payam Zamani, co-founder of Bahaiteachings.org.

For more Baha’i-inspired talks, visit Baha’i Blog’s Soundcloud page: soundcloud.com/bahai-blog/sets/bahai-talks. You can also listen to talks on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/2ia1Yxp.

About the Author

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

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