URI hosts wide-ranging afternoon of TEDx talks
Providence Journal - 2/21/2019
Feb. 21-- Feb. 21--Eight speakers will address topics from global warming to police brutality to helping people with autism during TEDxURI on Saturday in Kingston.
This is the second year in a row that the University of Rhode Island has hosted TEDxURI. TEDx programs are independently run local versions of TED, which began in 1984 as a conference on technology, entertainment and design. Today, the nonprofit is devoted to spreading ideas around the world through short talks on a variety of topics in more than 100 languages.
While the program is sold out, it will be streamed live online beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday at uri.edu/tedx
This year's theme is "Change it Up," and the speakers are:
Sherente Harris, 18, of Charlestown, a member of the Narragansett tribe and a first-year student in a dual degree program at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. Harris, who identifies as both a man and a woman, will talk about the struggles of "two spirit" people, as well as indigenous invisibility.
Stephen Smith, a part-time resident of Hope Valley, is a documentary filmmaker and former wildlife biologist. He will talk about the rapidly diminishing ice cover in the Arctic Ocean and the danger that it poses to the planet.
Rachel Ferreira, a URI junior majoring in health studies with a minor in leadership studies. The Kingston resident, who has served on the President's Commission on People with Disabilities, wants to find new ways to change society's view of people with disabilities.
Pete Hunt, who works in high-end residential construction and enjoys creating in all forms -- software, pen and paper, lumber and spoken word -- will explore the relationship between striving for the change you want and accepting the change you get.
Amy Laurent, who holds a doctorate in psychology from URI, specializes in the education of autistic children. The North Kingstown resident, who is an adjunct instructor at URI, will talk about the need for a shift in the way that we serve people with autism that supports the development of their emotional skills.
Ben Leveillee, a 2004 URI graduate, works with technology to enhance teaching and learning at the university's Information Technology Services. He will speak on a framework for sparking positive change, both individually and in communities, through science, art and education.
Raquel Lynn Perez, a first-generation student who graduated from URI in 2017, is a registered nurse at Miriam Hospital in Providence and also works part-time as a community outreach supervisor for the hospital. A member of the Latinx community, she will talk about the need for the media to accurately represent different cultures without resorting to stereotype.
Isabella Robinson, a junior at the Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich, is active in theater and heads the school's diversity club. Robinson, of Providence, will talk about police brutality. She believes her generation can bring about positive change through the power of digital messaging and social media.
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