03 Mar 2017

Willie Baronet – It’s Just us – TEDxSMU 2016

Talks, Uncategorized No Comments

During a cross country sign buying trip in July of 2014, Willie bought a homeless sign from Eddie Dunn in Philadelphia, and their conversation was featured in the documentary SIGNS OF HUMANITY. At the time Eddie was using heroin and living under a bridge. In February of 2016, after a year and a half of sobriety, Eddie contacted Willie. They met again in Philly during a WE ARE ALL HOMELESS exhibit during the Democratic National Convention and became friends. Eddie joins Willie on the TEDxSMU stage to talk about life on the other side of a sign, becoming a grandfather, and his advice for dealing with people on the streets. Willie Baronet has been buying and collecting homeless signs since 1993 as part of a long term art project titled “WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.” In 2014 he began a 31-day cross country trip to buy signs in 24 cities, which was the subject of the documentary Signs of Humanity, which premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival and has been accepted into 5 additional festivals (so far). The project has been featured in dozens of international and local media, including Yahoo! News, NPR – All Things Considered, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera America and Fast Company’s blog, posted by Katie Couric. An UpWorthy video about the project that was uploaded on August 31, 2015 has been viewed over 6.4 million times.
Willie is currently the Stan Richards Professor of Creative Advertising at SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, where he teaches classes related to creativity and portfolio development.

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