Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - Ted Talks: Bill Strickland

This video is from a site known as Ted Talks TED Stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and it is an organization dedicated to bringing together the great thinkers and doers in the world who are challenged to give the best public talk of their lives, in 18 minutes or so. They make videos of these speaking engagements available to the public for free under a collective commons license.

Bill Strickland is a man who had a vision to build a training center for poor and underprivileged people in a rough neighborhood in Pittsburgh. His approach is different from many such attempts however. He believes that the tone you set about how much you value people in these schools is something that needs to be established right away before you start giving them speeches. As a result he has insisted that his center have things like fountains, flowers, fine art, hand crafted furniture and gourmet meals in the cafeteria at tables that look more like a high profile business dinner. He believes that these things have a psychological impact on the students that breeds much more success in the program. The video above is a very famous slide show that he has taken around the country to raise money and awareness about his dream. He is accompanied by Herbie Hancock on piano as he speaks. It is an incredibly moving and inspirational story he tells about his accomplishments and goals. Everyone who has ever been involved in education really needs to see this.

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