TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left

Speaker: Megan Phelps-Roper
Date: February 2017
Location: New York, NY

Description from TED website:
What’s it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing … everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America’s most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

This is an extremely powerful talk about learning to be open, to listen to others, and to question…without hostility. I believe this message needs to be heard by many in today’s environment. Imagine the shift in this country if more people learned to listen and question, instead of lashing out when they heard something they disagreed with.

Obviously, I think this is a talk that our high school and college students need to hear. Other than the “first-year experience” courses, I’m not exactly sure where this talk would fit into a curriculum. However, it could be a great talk to have as an open seminar where students, faculty, and staff could come and engage. Perhaps a workshop where the video could be shown, and then break into smaller groups to have discussion and discourse. It might even be good at a city/county level to bring those who are divided together and attempt to mend fences.

Do you have an idea of how this talk might fit into your curriculum? How would you leverage this talk to initiate engagement?

Until next time … live long, life-learner!

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