“I see that light of divinity shining within my students,” says Professor Derik Smith, “every time I enter the razor wire.” Dr. Smith teaches in the New York State prison system, and rather than encountering deficit and darkness there, as a Baha’i and a black man he has found love, justice, graciousness, joy and wisdom. But he has also encountered bias—including being mistaken for someone who committed a crime rather than a professor. 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.

 

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

3 Comments

characters remaining
  • Shay Whitman Cooper
    May 05, 2018
    How I wish Dr. Smith offering could have been longer and more detailed. Very strong and beautiful Much appreciated thank you for your talk
  • Madlen Connor
    May 04, 2018
    I loved to listen to you. Thank you and stay strong.
  • Madlen Connor
    May 04, 2018
    I loved to listen to you, and ponder. Thank you and stay strong.