Faculty, students and community members give independent TED talks on variety of topics at the Denton campus Redbud Theater
Johnna Headley, Copy Editor
On Friday March 4, TWU hosted the TEDxTWU Inaugural Event, Pioneering the Space Between. TWU faculty, staff, students, and community members packed the Redbud Theater Complex on the Denton campus to listen to 25 speakers from all three campuses.
According to the official TED website, “TED is a non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks.” They are focused on reaching out to individuals who are eager to better understand the world and the diversity that accompanies.
TEDx events, or independent TED Talks, are locally held and organized talks where the TED Conference provides general guidance and regulations. TEDx events are great opportunities for individuals to share their ideas and thoughts with their local community, and in TWU’s case, the university.
TEDxTWU was a great opportunity for TWU faculty, students and community members to share their experiences and extend their ideas to add to the conversation. According to the TEDxTWU website, the theme, Pioneering the Space Between, “reflects [the] university’s long-
standing heritage of challenging the status quo and empowering underrepresented voices.”
The inaugural TEDxTWU event featured three one and-a-half hour sessions, each filled with insightful, impactful and innovative speakers. The first session consisted of talks about community, value and belief systems and breaking socially constructed currents and norms. Director of the Education Abroad Program, Annie Phillips moderated the first session in which the speakers were primarily TWU faculty members and students. The session wrapped up with an Indian interpretation dance by community member, Prathiba Natesan.
The second session was moderated by TWU Counseling Services Psychologist Dr. Linda Louden and the talks consisted primarily of healthcare associated topics from speakers in the TWU community
and TWU alumni. The session wrapped up with TWU alumni Dianne Randolph singing an uplifting song inspired by the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes.
The final session was moderated by TWU Librarian Susan Whitmer, and the speakers shared their experiences and advice on life hacks. The stage was filled with TWU students and community members. Board of Regents Student Regent Neftali Gomez was among the speakers.
Following each of the sessions, the audience was able to meet with the speakers to continue the conversation and even take selfies.
There will also be a follow-up session at the Houston campus on April 12 and a session at the Dallas campus on April 13. These sessions will primarily be re-broadcasts of the health-oriented talks given by Dallas and Houston faculty, staff and students. The speakers will also be on the Dallas and Houston campuses to continue the conversation and talk with attendees.
There was a lot of behind-the-scene action to bring an independent TED talk to TWU and to plan the event. The executive committee includes Lead Organizer and Producer Garrett Isom, Curator Christopher Johnson, Executive Manager Christine Hall, Executive Budgeting Manager Marshall Bewley, Marketing Directors Annie Phillips and Jessica Burchfield, Satellite Location Coordinator for the Dallas campus Linda Louden, Satellite Location Coordinator for the Houston campus Saderrick Johnson and Involvement Coordinator Heather Davis.