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Dr. Rita Pierson: The TED community reflects

By Emily McManus

Rita Pierson, center in red, stands with fellow speakers from TED Talks Education. From left, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Bill Gates, host John Legend, Sir Ken Robinson, Dr. Pierson, Dr. Geoffrey Canada, Malcolm London, Ramsey Muhallam and Pearl Arredondo. Photo: Ryan Lash

Rita Pierson, center in red, stands with fellow speakers from TED Talks Education. From left, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Bill Gates, host John Legend, Sir Ken Robinson, Dr. Pierson, Dr. Geoffrey Canada, Malcolm London, Ramsey Muhallam and Pearl Arredondo. Photo: Ryan Lash

This short post collects messages and reflections on Rita Pierson, who passed away Friday in Texas. If Dr. Pierson’s talk or work touched your life, please share in the comments below.

So very sorry to have this terrible news. I only met Dr. Pearson on the day of the recording and was deeply impressed as we all were by her passion, vivacity and rare understanding and young people and education. A truly tragic loss.
– Sir Ken Robinson

What a devastating loss for so many whose lives she touched — and changed. We at PBS are so grateful to have been able to share Dr. Pierson’s message through the TED Talks Education special, and hope her loved ones find some small solace knowing her memory and her message will continue to inspire for many years to come.
– Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and GM, General Audience Programming

She was such a force. I’m so glad we got a chance to share her light with the world.
– TED curator Chris Anderson

Rita Pierson was a truth teller who dedicated her life to the transformation of the educational system. With her passing, students and educators have both lost one of their most inventive, passionate and articulate advocates.
– Playwright Lynn Nottage

A true loss. I am so glad to have had the chance to meet her. When my kids watched the TED education special, they said: “You were OK, Mom, but that funny teacher was so much better.”
– Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth

She was such a force on behalf of so many young people. So glad she heard from so many people thanking her for her TED Talk.
– Patricia de Stacey Harrison, President and Chief Executive of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Her talk was my only experience of her, and through it she hit me like a thunderbolt, with her vitality and chutzpah, her deep wealth of experience and radiant love.
– TED video editor Marla Mitchnick

There are some voices in education that are so uniquely authentic that they move all who listen to take action. Rita was such a voice. We all learned and became students when she spoke. She made us laugh and cry. She made us better educators. Dr. Rita Pierson was a real superstar. The entire education community mourns her passing.
– Dr. Geoffrey Canada

Source: TED

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