TEDxProvidence 2018 Speaking Lineup Announced

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

 

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AS220's Shey Rivera Rios will be a speaker at TEDx

The Providence Speaking Society has announced the lineup for this year’s TEDx Providence event.

The theme of this year’s event is “The Time is Now,” and it will take place on October 13 at the Vets.

TEDxProvidence 2018

This year’s event will also feature performances and demos to further showcase local and regional tech and artistic talent.

Live music will be performed by Funk Underground, Sun of Sound, and international touring artist Raquel Rodriguez. There will also be dance performances from the Reciprocity Collaborative and Tsiambwom Akuchu.

Technology demos will be staged by TED Global sponsor Infosys, an interactive display will be installed by Ambo Studios and an interactive hologram demo will be hosted by Alex Hornstein of the Looking Glass. 

TEDxProvidence 2017 speakers Christopher Johnson and Kiara Butler will return as the official emcees for the day.

The speakers officially participating in this year’s event are:

  • Elan Babchuck is a fifth-generation rabbi and third generation entrepreneur. He’s spent much of his life exploring how those two traditions might inform and challenge one another. Elan is committed to leaving behind a world that is more compassionate, connected, and just than the one he found, and - in pursuit of that commitment – he is the Founding Director of Glean, an incubator and network for entrepreneurs who are building new models of faith in action, and Director of Innovation at Clal, a think-tank focused on the future of faith in America. Elan resides in Providence, RI with his wife, Lizzie Pollock, and their two children, Micah and Nessa.
  • Alexandra Curtis served as Miss Rhode Island 2015 when she traveled the country promoting her platform "Leading Ladies: Equipping Young Women with the Skills to Lead." The program served to bring more young women into politics and arenas where they have been historically underrepresented. For her work with "Leading Ladies," she was named on Rare’s 2016 Under 40 list and was named a 2018 Leading Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England. She holds a B.A. from Syracuse University, an MPA from Brown University, and an M.S. from Salve Regina University. She currently serves as a public affairs specialist in the Rhode Island Army National Guard.
  • Abraham Henderson is a proud Providence native who has dedicated his professional career to being an educator for high-risk youth and adults in and out of prison system as well as being a committed community activist. Abraham received a Bachelor's Degree in the Philosophy of Urban Education and a Masters of Fine Arts in Teaching from UMass Amherst and Smith College, respectively. Currently, Abraham is a Dean at the UCAP School as well as an Aspiring Principal in the Principal Residency Network program (class of 2018-19).  Abraham is also an established artist; painter, poet, and playwright. His most fulfilling and proudest work, however, is being a father to his son.
  • Mark Huang is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of SeaAhead, a Benefit Corporation with the mission of supporting new venture development at the intersection of innovation + sustainability + the oceans. Mark was recently Providence, RI’s Economic Development Director. Previously Mark led the formation of Novus Energy Partners, a US-Norwegian cleantech VC fund, which was later followed by Tolero Ventures. Prior to that, Mark was with GE for 10 years as a Senior Vice President of GE Energy Financial Services. Mark has worked in shipbuilding and as a naval architect. Mark served for 13 years as an officer in the US Army Reserves. He was mobilized in 2003 to Baghdad where he focused on nation-building. He is currently a US director of Alfanar, the only venture philanthropy non-profit focused on the Arab world, and Tern, a Taiwan-based urban mobility company. Mark holds an MBA and Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University & a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute.
  • Halima Ibrahim was called to leadership when, due to a chronic illness, she needed to attend the 2018 Providence Women’s March in a wheelchair. She perceived “ableist” undercurrents in the activism community and spoke up.  Halima is most known for the poem “Wake Up” she performed at the March for Our Lives Rally at the statehouse in March 2018. She hopes to inspire other young people to step into difficult conversations and make their voices heard. Her TEDxProvidence talk will take place 3 days after her 16th birthday.
  • Rebecca Labeau, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a researcher, biostatistician, and professor dedicated to challenging views on substance abuse culture.  Throughout Rhode Island, she has conducted substance abuse research, implemented data and planning, advised scientific articles for publication, and led project teams at multiple institutions and agencies. She is the Chief Health Program Evaluator for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services of RI and serves on the Opioid Data Council, contributing to numerous opiate-related data and program groups across the state. Rebecca holds an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She currently teaches substance abuse at the University of Rhode Island.
  • Kira Manser, MEd, LICSW serves as Clinical Director at the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (TheCSPH). As a licensed clinical social worker with a masters in education in human sexuality, she has developed expertise in gender and sexual diversity, sexual pleasure, and restorative justice. Energetic and friendly, Kira strives to create spaces that challenge and support individuals to explore themselves in their full and complex identities by using active methods and affirmative and feminist-informed therapeutic modalities.
  • Michele Meek, Ph.D., is a Providence-based writer, filmmaker, and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University. Her recent scholarly publications focus on “consent puzzles,” or ethically and aesthetically ambiguous depictions of sexual consent, and her edited compilation Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle through Interviews, Profiles, and Manifestos is forthcoming with Routledge. She has written and directed several award-winning short films, and she is the founder of NewEnglandFilm.com. She earned her M.F.A. from Emerson College and her Ph.D. from University of Rhode Island.
  • Taino Palermo, E.d.D., has worked as an education and nonprofit leader for over a decade focusing on community and economic development, urban education, and neighborhood revitalization. He has a history, personally and professionally, of advocating for underrepresented communities and urban youth. Dr. Palermo is currently the Program Director for both the Community Development and Healthy Communities degree programs at Roger Williams University in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Dr. Neha Raukar, M.D., M.S.,FACEP, CAQ Sports Medicine, is an Adjunct Professor in Emergency Medicine and the immediate past Director of the Division of Sports Medicine at Brown University. She currently serves as Senior Associate Consultant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. As a result of her training in both Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine, she is uniquely trained to research life-threatening illness and mitigating risk of death in athletes. Her research interests and educational focus spans the spectrum of acute injuries related to athletes and the management of orthopedic injuries in the emergency department as well as the myriad of chronic overuse syndromes in youth athletes that are presenting in record numbers at emergency departments and outpatient clinics throughout the country. Her goal is to educate parents and athletes to reduce the negative effects of overuse injuries in America's youth.
  • Mike Ritz, Executive Director of Leadership Rhode Island, leverages his lifelong interests in human behavior and communication to contribute to vulnerability, transparency, and adaptive capacity as a cross-sector leader and entrepreneur. An experienced facilitator of public dialogue and deliberation, he is often called upon by elected officials, community associations, businesses, and the media to moderate tough conversations. An Army veteran, he was recently awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
  • Shey Rivera Rios is a multi-genre artist and the Artistic Director at AS220, an internationally renowned arts center in Providence, RI. Rivera uses the mediums of performance, video, installation, and narrative to produce works exploring gender, magic, family history, and colonization in Puerto Rico. Rivera truly believes art and culture are catalysts for social change and enacts various civic roles within the realms of art/culture and community development. They identify as a gender non-conforming, queer Latinx artist and uses they/them pronouns.

 

TEDxProvidence

Since 2011, TEDxProvidence has convened more than 75 speakers and over 4,000 community members to celebrate Rhode Island’s “Ideas Worth Spreading” through a day-long event featuring distinguished members of the community, live performances, and a gathering of community members from across the state.

Videos have been watched more than 300,000 times, available free online, and serve as a resource to showcase Rhode Island’s diverse and dynamic talent with the world.

 

Related Slideshow: Some of the Most Interesting GoLocal LIVE Interviews—The First 1,000

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Amanda Clayton, Actress

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Having moved to New York at 19, five days before 9/11, she studied on-camera acting at New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and TV opportunities in Hollywood.

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She appeared in Disney’s “John Carter," multiple TV appearances like NCIS: New Orleans, Major Crimes, and The Mentalist, and as Vinny Pazienza’s sister in “Bleed for This” filmed and based right here in Rhode Island.

Clayton just finished a Lifetime Movie “Mommy’s Little Angel”, coming out next year, and finished a role behind-the-scenes as a producer for “Dirty Dead Con Men.”

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Billy Gilman, Grammy Nominee

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Johanne Killeen, Al Forno

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She told the story of how one of America's greatest restaurants was started and where it is going in the future. 

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Mystic Aquarium’s mission is to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through education, conservation and research. To help accomplish that mission, Mystic Aquarium offers educational opportunities and fundraising events to continue their conservation work and teach the public about the ocean’s creatures.

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Jai Rodriguez, Actor

“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” alum, Jai Rodriguez, joined GoLocal LIVE to talk about his new show “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’’ currently running in Vegas until January of 2018. 

Rodriguez co-stars in the audience-participation heavy live show with reality TV personality, Kendra Wilkinson, and says the subject matter of the show is perfect for the crowd in Vegas. 

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Rodriguez will also be appearing on the new CBS drama “Wisdom of the Crowd” and makes a cameo as Margaret Cho’s Husband in “Sharknato 5.”

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Governor Lincoln Chafee

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Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero

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“The most exciting thing is getting to know the records and getting to know the richness of the documentation that tells our country’s history, starting with the oaths of allegiance signed at Valley Forge by George Washington and the troops, all the way up to the tweets that are being created as I am speaking, in the White House,” Ferriero said.

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Governor Gina Raimondo

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Walt Mossberg, Top Tech Journalist

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"Well, it was a combination of really important people - and really important technology," said Mossberg. "It took too long for the computer industry to get the memo that these things had to be usable without reading manuals."

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Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

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In October, she wrote a sweeping investigative piece that raised questions about TIAA’s selling strategies. “The subpoena to TIAA, which handles retirement accounts for over four million workers at 15,000 nonprofit institutions across the country, followed an article last month in The New York Times that raised questions about the firm’s selling techniques,” wrote Morgenson.

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Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

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The book is based on the true story of his two sons' struggles with mental illness. Both were diagnosed with Schizophrenia as young men.

While deeply personal, Powers gave insight on the battles his sons’ fought and details into their family life. He also looked at the history of mental illness, including incarceration, medication and more. 

"I was determined to give the mentally ill, invisible to much of society and often denied the very basic acknowledgment of their own humanity, a voice,” Powers said.

Powers is the author or co-author of 14 previous books, including New York Times bestselling “Flags of our Fathers” and “True Compass."

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Lidia Bastianich, Chef and Author

Lidia Bastianich, Emmy award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author joined GoLocal LIVE's The Taste with Rick Simone.

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Bastianich explained how she was inspired by family traditions and how she first got into the culinary world. She has since carried on her passion and it now has involved to include her whole family in all her endeavors.

Big news -- Bastianich announced that Eataly could be opening in Toronto, Canada in 2018.

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Piff the Magic Dragon

Magician and comedian Piff the Magic Dragon appeared on LIVE before he performed five shows at the Comedy Connection in East Providence over Labor Day Weekend. 

“New show, all new jokes, all new tricks, same dog,” Piff said. “Mr. Piffles will be doing a lot of mind reading. He’s got his whole new act with The Dog Who Knows and he’ll be attempting to see all and know all. Ask him anything and he’ll tell you.” 

Known for his dry sense of humor and rescue K-9 sidekick Mr. Piffles, Piff gained worldwide attention after his success on season 10 of America’s Got Talent. 

Although Piff didn’t win that season, he’s made guest appearances on America’s Got Talent, racked up 50 million YouTube views, and recently extended his show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas until the end of 2018.

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Jean Lesieur, French Journalist

Leading French journalist Jean Lesieur has appeared twice on GoLocal LIVE. 

He is a novelist and a co-founder of France 24, the French version of CNN, warned of the rise of Trump and nationalism.

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“He is the symptom and agent of the emerging nationalism. And, nationalism should not be considered patriotism. Patriotism is the love of your own. Nationalism is the hatred of others,” said Lesieur at the Hope Club.

In a sweeping discussion with GoLocal, he spoke about Europe in the Brexit, the Trump relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the wild French election campaign.

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Patrick Kennedy, Former Congressman

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy spoke with GoLocal LIVE about efforts in Rhode Island in 2017 to legalize marijuana - and what he said is the country’s crisis of addiction, and why he is opposed to marijuana legalization. 

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“We’re going through an epidemic of addiction and depression…and we’re in the midst of the rollback the biggest expansion of healthcare coverage that benefits people with mental illness [and] addiction, and this was the first time the ever got coverage,” Kennedy told GoLocal’s Kate Nagle on Wednesday.

“We ought to think do we want to throw gasoline on the fire,” said Kennedy, of legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island. “We know what’s happened with other addictive substances where’s basically there’s no perception of ‘risk’ — alcohol is ubiquitous; tobacco, until the settlements, there was no appetite for addressing [the impact of that].”

“Going down this road of adding a new intoxicant is not a good thing,” said Kennedy.

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Beverly Daniel Tatum, Former Spelman College President

Former president of Spelman College, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is one of the nation’s leading experts on race, and the psychology of race.

Tatum recently released a fully revised and updated edition of her bestselling book “Why Are the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race.” 

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In an interview with LIVE, Tatum said it’s important to have conversations about race and listen for opportunities to have natural discussions.

“We can’t solve a problem if we can’t talk about it,” the Brock International Prize in Education winner said. 

To make a change, she said, we all have a role to play and each of us has an opportunity.

“We all have a sphere of influence. Everybody influences someone, and we should not be afraid to use that influence to bring about the changes we hope to see,” she said.

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Mark Baillie, Top British Security Expert

Terrorism and international relations expert Mark Baillie of King's College in London's War Studies Department spoke with GoLocal's Kate Nagle regarding the post-Manchester landscape in England - and the world. 

"The young guy...did it in his mother's basement. Any lone actor can make a powerful bomb," said Baillie following the terrorism incident. "We're in the midst of a general election where politicians talk about there being no political or cultural backlash."

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"And estimated 300 people are 'ready to go' -  400 who have been fighting with Isis in Syria  -- and in a group of about 20,000 supporters," noted Baillie of the UK landscape, calling Manchester and acts like it the "terrorism of the mundane" -- and much more frightening than "spectacular" acts of terrorism. 

Baillie, who runs seminars on a wide range of security matters at King's and at the UK Joint Staff College, has lived or worked in more than 14 countries in the fields of news, security, finance, economics, business and politics and appears widely in international news media on terrorism and international security.

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Mark Geragos, Celebrity Attorney

Geragos is one of Hollywood's biggest celebrity lawyers having represented rapper Chris Brown and Michael Jackson over the years. When asked about his relationship with the often legal troubled Brown, Geragos said that the rapper is "like a son and an annuity" to him.

In reference to a lawsuit that he is representing Alex and Ani over, Geragos said, "For lack of a better word, we've got a couple of knuckleheads, [and] it's not at the forefront of anything we're worried about."

"Unfortunately when you become successful people want to take an elevator to the penthouse and that won't happen here, trust me," said Geragos.

Geragos explained how he met Alex and Ani CEO Carolyn Rafaelian - and spoke to how the "company culture" brought him in.

"I was at a charity event at Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard -- she was doing a fundraiser for an Armenian orphanage," said Geragos. "They have a unique blend of doing humanitarian work...Carolyn was the hit in New York this week."

Model, entrepreneur and activist Gisele Bündchen, co-anchor of Good Morning America Robin Roberts; and Rafaelian were among the women recognized Tuesday in New York City by the David Lynch Foundation (DLF), a global charitable organization that addresses the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress amongst at-risk populations.

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Amazing Regulars

Each week, GoLocal LIVE features an amazing group of experts in Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

Robert Whitcomb, former Editorial Page Editor of the Providence Journal, now GoLocalProv columnist

Gary Sasse, "The Money Man," an expert on state and federal fiscal policy

Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women & Politics Institute and Professor of Political Science at American University

Ray Rickman, Former State Representative, Deputy Secretary of State, and Civil Rights Leader

Kristin MacRae, Organizing Expert

Saul Kaplan, Business Innovation Expert

Robin Garceau, Interior Design Expert  

 
 

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