TEDxWhitmanCollege speakers announced; tickets go on sale April 7

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

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TEDx

From art education to RAPtivism and aquaponics to herpetology, seven members of the Whitman and Walla Walla communities will come together April 27 to share their ideas at TEDxWhitmanCollege.

TEDx is a series of independently organized, community-based conferences modeled on the internationally acclaimed TEDTalks format. The theme of TEDxWhitmanCollege is "Walla Walla and Beyond."

Tickets go on sale online only Sunday, April 7 via the TEDxWhitmanCollege website. The cost to attend is $25, with a limit of 100 audience members. There also will be free tickets available to watch live streaming of the talks hosted in other campus venues.

The following is a list of the selected speakers and their topics. 

Amy Davis-Bruner

1. "The Cat Lives: Superpowers of Curiosity" by Amy Davis-Bruner, Walla Walla community volunteer, Living Portfolio Project

This presentation will explore the superpowers of curiosity and the ability of curiosity to forge mastery and ignite thriving communities.

Amy Davis-Bruner has lived in Walla Walla for 10 years and says it was curiosity that brought her here. She helped create Community Learning Opportunities, has been involved with city government and has networked with such community organizations as the YMCA, Whitman, and Walla Walla Parks and Recreations to connect college students as mentors with young learners. She says she believes that "the key to a thriving world lies in each one of us identifying and acting through curiosity towards mastery."

Jeffrey Townsend

2. "Teaching in the Moment of Greatest Desire" by Jeffrey Townsend, Walla Walla filmmaker

A fresh perspective for educators at all levels who grapple daily with the broken paradigm we call teaching.

A veteran of Hollywood moviemaking, Jeffrey Townsend is a self-employed filmmaker and owner of Now What Creative and says he is "passionate about the ways we understand and retain information." He has lived in Walla Walla for 16 years after having lived in New York and Los Angeles. His service to the community includes serving on the boards of the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and Tourism Walla Walla. He also works as a liaison for the Walla Walla Film Office. He has been invited to speak at Whitman College, Walla Walla University, Rotary Club and the Walla Walla-Columbia Counties School Retirees Association.

Katrina Allick
 

3. "DIY Music" by Katrina Allick '16, Whitman College student 

"DIY music" focuses on the technologically innovative ways in which sound and the creation of sound pushes the boundaries of creative expression.

Katrina Allick is a first-year Whitman student and campus DJ who says she's "obsessed with musical sound and its creation." A San Francisco native, she has been creating her own recordings for five years. Two years ago, she attended a music technology festival called The Creators' Project, a foundation partnership between VICE and Intel that supports visionary artists across multiple disciplines who use technology in innovative ways to push the boundaries of creative expression. She aspires to produce a sound that integrates "airy 90s R&B, lush dream pop and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of modern hip-hop."

Justin Lincoln

4. "Educating to Create" by Justin Lincoln, Whitman College professor

An exploration of how an education in the arts might challenge a culture of increasing standardization and intellectual conformity.

Justin Lincoln is an assistant professor of art at Whitman and an experimental video artist and educator. His work explores intersections between technology, education, art and life, and he says his artistic and teaching practices are "exploratory, experimental, and open systems." He attended California Institute of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University and Longwood College. His work has been shown in New York, Boston, Minneapolis and the U.K, and he has shown for four consecutive years at the prestigious Dallas VideoFest.

Aisha Fukushima
 
 

5. "Intersectionality Matters" by Aisha Fukushima '09, Whitman College alumna

A personal exploration of the intersections of multiracial identity from which to draw lessons on how people of all backgrounds can better understand their connectedness to struggles for social justice.

Singer, public speaker and self-proclaimed RAPtivist Aisha Fukushima is a 2009 Whitman graduate and a Watson Fellowship recipient. As leader of the global 'RAPtivism' (rap activism) project, she builds connections between hip hop and social justice, and has engaged communities in France, Morocco, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. In 2012, she released her album featuring more than 20 leading international political hip hop acts. She has performed and lectured around the world, and her work has been featured in Oprah Magazine.

Theo Ciszeweski
 

6. "Aquaponics: The Ocean in the Wheat Fields" by Theo Ciszewski '15, Whitman College student

Sharing the learning process and efforts to bring aquaponic gardening to Whitman College and the Walla Walla community, toward a sustainable food production system.

Whitman sophomore Theo Ciszewski is a politics and French major whose future plans include serving as a farm apprentice to learn about growing techniques and climates and possibly returning to his hometown of Washington, D.C. to work in the international political field or lobbying for farm workers. On campus he has been working on establishing an aquaponics system and is a Beta Theta Pi member and is active in several clubs: Student Agriculture and Whitman, Namaste Medication Club, Almightly Ink Slam Poetry Club and Rugby.

Jordan Benjamin
 

7. "Solving Snakebite in Equatorial Africa" by Jordan Benjamin '13, Whitman College student

An introduction to snakebite medicine in sub-Saharan Africa and a strategy for addressing one of the most neglected global health challenges of our time.

Whitman senior biology major and pre-med student Jordan Benjamin is a licensed Wilderness EMT with a lifelong passion for venomous snakes. He recently spent eight months in Benin, West Africa, and Kenya working to address the global burden of snakebites, the topic of his senior thesis. Last summer, he presented his solution of identifying and treating snakebites based on symptomology to the Joint Meetings of Ichthyology and Herpetology in Minneapolis. He hopes to become a wilderness/emergency medicine physician and specialize in the treatment of snakebites in rural Africa.

Visit the TEDxWhitman College website to learn more. 

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.