“I appreciate being here today. It’s been a long journey.” Antonia opens up her talk being authentic, transparent, and grabbing every single person’s attention in the room. Sweets and food let people’s guards down. We all do things for a reason. Those things make us stronger. Somebody needs to hear your story to know that they aren’t alone. This is used as a stepping stone for girls to know what they want to do, get them plugged in to the right circles and right people. At 16 years old, she took on a huge responsibility to help her mother and family. This transition was toughRead More →

Have you seen the Billy Nye vs Ken Ham debate? Clearly there is not a winner. Evolution is merely a theory, like gravity. This is about thinking. A faith based reality in which the principles in faith is applied in public life to everything: economics, environment, fuel efficiency, criminal justice, etc. Anyone can believe anything they want to believe. When those things seep into public policy, he starts to have a problem. It’s one thing to have faith: a belief in something unseen. But it’s a different thing to believe in something with facts is actually delusion. When you live in delusion and it becomesRead More →

Herrison performs a poem based on the unexpected and spontaneity. Watching him see his father surrender, thinking he doesn’t belong here, he grabs the attention of our audience. “The same people Americans are holding out with fences are building them.” We are all immigrants. Last time he checked – there was only one race. The human race. As I am sitting here listening in awe, I am speechless. I captured a few quotes, but you’re just going to have to watch this one on our YouTube channel later. -Sara Beth Jones Herrison Chicas is a recent alum from the University of North Carolina at ChapelRead More →

“Most days, I go jail willingly.” – Melissa Mummert She never really knows who is going to come in. Sometimes they come in for selling drugs, getting caught shop lifting, and sometimes she has already seen them on the news for allegedly doing horrible things. There are hundreds of women from all walks of life that come take her class. She does the same exercise on the first day with a heart on the board. She tells them to think about what they feel on the inside of the heart. Words like caring, kind, free, peaceful, giving, and generous come to mind. Then she asksRead More →

Carol grew up reading in the “she likes books more than people” kind of way. She read anything and everything. Many of her sharpest and most important experiences have come through encounters with books. One such encounter is what she focuses her talk on today. Advancing Luna by Alice Walker is a story about two friends who believed they could change the world. Actually, they believed it was their duty. They believed what they were doing mattered. As Carol read this book as a college student in Chicago, she identified with the courage in this story. The two main characters portrayed different personalities who hadRead More →

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jocElyn Ellis kicked off the afternoon session of TEDxCharlotte with the inspirational song, “Dawn of Inspiration,” a song that encourages people to be limitless in their thinking and actions, whether they are a performance artist like her or work at a 9-to-5 desk job. “Art is in everything that we do,” said Ellis. “Once you express yourself, you are giving an immortality to what you believe in.” Ellis’s biggest inspiration came when she was in third grade. Back then, there was a man named Mr. Tucker who lived down the street in her neighborhood. He would sit on his porch when she got off theRead More →

With a projected image of a mosaic heart on the wall, Patricia Shafer talked about her nonprofit, Mothering Across Continents at TEDxCharlotte.  The founder and “Chief Catalyst” of this nonprofit organization told audiences how they can get involved in nonprofits as a group effort instead of as a single person or one volunteer. She explained the power of doing humanitarian work via the mosaic model as volunteer catalysts. These people  work together to create change across the world. To illustrate her point, she mentioned two volunteers with Mothering Across Continents: Phillips and Elizabeth. Phillips had never given to a charity outside of North Carolina andRead More →