TED Talks – Must Watch Storytellers

The world is experiencing an enormous refugee crisis with 68.5 million people having been forced to flee their homes. Thousands of people have made terrifying journeys trying to find safety and claim asylum in another country.  The following videos are some of favorite TED talks to learn about the refugee crisis over the last 5 years and ways to help moving forward in 2019. Also…who doesn’t love a great TED talk!?  We encourage you to keep refugees in your hearts and minds this holiday season and in 2019.

Let’s Help Refugees Thrive, Not Just Survive - Melissa Fleming (2014)

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN's refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.

From Refugee to Global Ambassador - Ger Duany (2016)

Ger Duany woke up one morning to gunshots that eventually led to his becoming one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, a child soldier, refugee, then US high school student, basketball player and actor.  Now a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador for the East and Horn of Africa region,  he talks about his harrowing journey and feelings of hope and why investing in the future of refugees is the right and the smart thing to do.  Ger Duany is internationally known as a model and actor. He recently starred in the film The Good Lie, which tells the story of 3 refugees struggling to integrate as they resettle to the United States. In 2015, he was appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador for the East and Horn of Africa region. He also attended and spoke at this past One Journey Festival in 2018!

Our Refugee System is Failing. Here's How We Can Fix It - Alexander Betts (2016)

A million refugees arrived in Europe this year, says Alexander Betts, and "our response, frankly, has been pathetic." Betts studies forced migration, the impossible choice for families between the camps, urban poverty and dangerous illegal journeys to safety. In this insightful talk, he offers four ways to change the way we treat refugees, so they can make an immediate contribution to their new homes. "There's nothing inevitable about refugees being a cost," Betts says. "They're human beings with skills, talents, aspirations, with the ability to make contributions — if we let them."

Humanizing the Refugee Crisis - Brian Sokol (2017)

As a photographer who spent time in refugee camps and met the people who were forced from their homes, Brian Sokol underwent a personal transformation in understanding their stories, their dreams, and their humanity. It’s time we challenged our beliefs and preconceptions about the refugee crisis. Brian Sokol is an artist, photographer and author dedicated to documenting human rights issues and humanitarian crises worldwide. Since 2012 he has focused on telling the stories of refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and stateless people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. His goal is to engender empathy and action in audiences across the lines of language, race, religion and culture.

How I Went from Child Refugee to International Model - Halima Aden (2018)

Halima Aden made history when she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of Vogue magazine. Now she returns to Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp -- where she was born and lived until the age of seven -- to share an inspiring message about what she's learned on the path from child refugee to international model.