Tuesday, May 9, 2017

TEDxHerndon Conference

This past Saturday afternoon, I traveled to a local middle school and settled in to listen to eighteen TED talks about difficult conversations. I left four and a half hours later inspired and motivated and educated. There's not enough time to share everything with you, so I'll share some highlights for me. Whitney Parnell spoke about creating allies and building bridges. Her talk started with this song she wrote. I was sobbing.
Kwame Alexander was one of the speakers. 
He always inspires when he speaks. His message was to be a SAY YES person. I laughed and listened and teared up as he shared his journey and experiences.
After Kwame came the legendary, Nikki Giovanni! I have been reading her poetry since college. She's bigger than life. In person, she's sassy and irreverent and brilliant! My favorite thing is she walked on stage and gave her TED talk holding her notebook. I felt a connection with her as soon as I saw that!
She spoke to writers about writing and not worrying about what people think about it. She then launched into a poem about fear. Here are a couple of lines from it,
"I think fear should be a spice..."
"I need to explain right here, it's not fear that causes problems, it's when hatred is combined with it..."
"Hatred is a bad idea, which is why it's cheap and available, anywhere you look"
Her words echo in my mind. There were so many other powerful speakers who made me think and who taught me. I have pages and pages of notes in my notebook. I can't wait to return and reread and soak in these words.
If you ever get the chance to attend a TED Conference, I highly recommend it!

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