“When someone in state custody says I can’t breathe, their life is in mortal danger. But when a society doesn’t challenge the oxygen of racism that everyone breathes every day, the hope for racial justice and equality in that society is also in mortal danger.” 

Dexter Dias QC, TEDxExeter 2020

Dexter Dias

Conversations that matter with TEDxExeter 2020

Racism wants your silence: it’s time to speak out

Will the horrific death of George Floyd and the global Black Lives Matter protests be a turning-point in the struggle for racial justice? Human rights lawyer Dexter Dias QC believes they can be – but only if we use our power and privilege as citizens to demand change in every one of our spheres of influence. Dexter uses his three decades’ experience of representing the families of people of colour who have been killed in state custody to expose how “race” is a myth used to justify inequality and discrimination. He argues that racism needs our silence. The antidote is for us commit to being anti-racist.

And the time is now.

Dexter Dias

TEDxExeter 2018

Why, in a world of injustice and vanishing human rights, I choose to hope

What are human beings really like? Why do some hurt the most fragile people whilst others protect them at great personal cost? Grounded in 25 years’ experience as a human rights lawyer and academic researcher grappling with some of humanity’s toughest questions, Dexter Dias QC shares powerful stories of resilience, courage and bravery and tells us why his research leaves him fundamentally hopeful.

Dexter Dias QC is an award-winning human rights barrister, who has conducted some of the biggest cases in recent years involving murder, terrorism, crimes against humanity and genocide and deaths in state custody.  He is authorised to act as a Judge of the High Court in the Queen’s Bench and Family Divisions, a Recorder of the Crown Court authorised to sit at the Old Bailey and try Serious Sexual Offence cases, Visiting Researcher at Cambridge, previously Visiting Fellow at Harvard, Special Adviser on human rights to UNICEF UK, Chair of the Global Campaign to End FGM, and author of the bestselling The Ten Types of Human, which examines his interest in the interface between human rights and human psychology.  

He was instrumental in changing the law to provide better safeguarding around FGM, and works pro bono with survivors of child slavery, human trafficking and gender-based violence around the world and is advising the UN on a global social justice initiative to advance Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality. 

Biography published 2020

Watch our other 2018 speakers