TEDx Providence Returns for its Seventh Year

TEDx is coming to town for its 7th year, and you’re going to want a ticket to this one! It takes place on September 30 from 9am until 5pm, with a lunch break and after party, all at The VETS Auditorium.

TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. TED Talks involve people from all different backgrounds, including education, age, gender and sexuality, talking about a topic of their choosing. These talks can vary from science and technology to culture and art and everything in between or outside the box! TEDx events, on the other hand, are community-based events that feature TED-like talks. So TEDxProvidence has speakers that influence RI in some way.

“This year’s theme, Past Present Future, is focused on learning from the past, experiencing and influencing the present, and creating our future, ” said Michael Gazdacko, spokesperson for The Providence Speaking Society and TEDxProvidence. “We are excited for this year’s event because we will debut for the first time at The Vets and are proud to showcase our most diverse and dynamic lineup of speakers and performers yet.”

The presenters have been announced, and they’re all important contributors to our little state.

Adeene Denton is a scientist, historian and dancer. She brings a unique perspective of melding science and art with her passion of planetary science, in which she is completing her PhD at Brown University.

Raymond Two Hawks Watson has a long history with nonprofit administration and is a recipient of the Innovation Fellowship for his project, the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative. He is also an artist, community activist and educator.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is a Yale graduate and part of many state committees such as budget, judiciary, environment, health, education, labor and pensions. He was also appointed US Attorney in 1994.

Kiara Butler was awarded the Generation Citizen’s Community Partnership Award at the Rhode Island State House this year. She is also a the co-founder of Diversity Talks, which are student-led professional development sessions with diversity and equity in mind.

Christopher Johnson uses his creative freedom to break down issues such as race, mental illness and incarceration. He expresses these issues through art, poetry, playwriting and education.

Arnell Milhouse is the ultimate tech guy. He is co-founder of HackRI and HackPVD, programs that teach computer science skills to help the inequality gap and give more confidence to underserved communities.

Paul Salem does a little of everything. He is co-founder of Equity Partners, chairman of Year-Up and board member of Edesia Global Nutrition. His concerns range from changing the landscape of youth in a local community to feeding malnourished children across the world.

Shannon Shallcross is all about the data. She is co-founder and CEO of BetaXAnalytics, a company that uses data to help improve the quality of healthcare.

Cheryl W. Snead is a motivational speaker who discusses issues around women, youth and minorities, and how to empower those groups. She is also the founder of Banneker Industries, Inc, a provider of supply chain management solutions.

Javier Juarez was awarded the Vital Contribution to the Community in 2017 at Rhode Island College for his work to raise awareness about undocumented student struggles. He is also a member of CASO, Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities, which helps immigrant students in RI.

Colleen Daley Ndoye has made it her career to help people grow and accomplish their goals through peer-driven work. She is the executive director of Project Weber/ RENEW, which helps with myriad issues, such as HIV testing and prevention, case management, harm reduction and help with at-risk communities.

Dr. Raymond Mis has taught medicine at the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been the chief of gastroenterology at the Kent County Memorial Hospital. He has also struggled on his journey, losing a significant amount of his hearing and vision, but has overcome these struggles and now owns his own practice in Warwick.

Amara Berry is director of the Sparkler Program, which teaches college-level STEM topics to elementary school children in RI, trying to expose them to science early while also teaching them problem-solving skills.

Michael L Littman is a computer science professor at Brown with multiple awards for his teaching and research. When he isn’t focused on robotics or AIs, he’s a performer with a theater and commercial background.

Lulu Locks is owner and founder and Suite Tart, a salon that mashes the worlds of old-school style and modern techniques to give truly unique styles and haircuts. She is also the owner and founder of Providence Pin-Up.

This year’s TEDxProvidence conference is shaping up to be it’s best yet with technology, community, art, health and politics all being explored. Buy your tickets soon, because this event is sure to sell out soon!

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