The Wednesday Five: TED Talks by 5 Inspiring Women


Audrey Choi: How to Make A Profit While Making A Difference

Can global capital markets become catalysts for social change? According to investment expert Audrey Choi, individuals own almost half of all global capital, giving them (us!) the power to make a difference by investing in companies that champion social values and sustainability. Her words of inspiration:

So why do we think that our choice of a four dollar shade-grown fair trade artisanal cup of coffee in a reusable mug matters, but what we do with 4,000 dollars in our investment account for our IRA doesn’t? Why can’t we tell the supermarket and the capital markets that we care, that we care about fair labor standards, that we care about sustainable production methods and about healthy communities? Why aren’t we voting with our investment dollars, but we would vote with our lattes?




Dalia Mogahed: What Do You Think When You Look At Me

When you look at Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, what do you see: a woman of faith? a scholar, a mom, a sister? or an oppressed, brainwashed, potential terrorist? In this personal, powerful talk, Mogahed asks us, in this polarizing time, to fight negative perceptions of her faith in the media — and to choose empathy over prejudice. Her words of inspiration:

When I was 17, I decided to come out. No, not as a gay person like some of my friends, but as a Muslim, and decided to start wearing the hijab, my head covering. My feminist friends were aghast: “Why are you oppressing yourself?” The funny thing was, it was actually at that time a feminist declaration of independence from the pressure I felt as a 17-year-old, to conform to a perfect and unattainable standard of beauty. I didn’t just passively accept the faith of my parents. I wrestled with the Quran. I read and reflected and questioned and doubted and, ultimately, believed. My relationship with God — it was not love at first sight. It was a trust and a slow surrender that deepened with every reading of the Quran. Its rhythmic beauty sometimes moves me to tears. I see myself in it. I feel that God knows me. Have you ever felt like someone sees you, completely understands you and yet loves you anyway? That’s how it feels.




Dorothy Roberts: The Problem with Race-Based Medicine

Social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy Roberts has a precise and powerful message: Race-based medicine is bad medicine. Even today, many doctors still use race as a medical shortcut; they make important decisions about things like pain tolerance based on a patient’s skin color instead of medical observation and measurement. In this searing talk, Roberts lays out the lingering traces of race-based medicine — and invites us to be a part of ending it. Her words of inspiration:

Race medicine is bad medicine, it’s poor science and it’s a false interpretation of humanity. It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us.

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