‘Ideas worth spreading’

Image of stage at TEDx event with the giant letters on the stage, "TEDxUWLaCrosse."

UWL hosts TEDx event Feb. 8 featuring UWL and community speakers

Learn how to talk politics and keep friends. See how “critical feeling” can go hand-in-hand with critical thinking. Get the best life advice from a self-described “old lady activist.”

These are just a few of the topics speakers will cover at the TEDxUWLaCrosse event from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Bluffs Room, in UW-La Crosse’s Student Union. Speakers will share novel ideas to spark deep discussion and connection related to the event’s theme, “chain reaction.” Tickets are on sale now at the UWL Student Union or online at www.uwlax.edu/TedxUWL. The cost is $5 for students and $10 for others.

Many are familiar with TED Talks, an award-winning video site that is a branch of the TED non-profit organization. The organization is devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” In that spirit, it created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. In 2013, UWL started organizing independently-coordinated TEDx events featuring local speakers on a range of topics.

This year’s event includes presentations from five speakers, watching TED Talks videos and a locally-produced video interview with an “old lady activist.”

Speakers include:

  • Sue Hessel, writer and personal historian (and video interview with long-time social justice advocate, June Kjome.)
  • Dany Bicoy, UWL student, musician and poet
  • Tim Dale, UWL associate professor, Political Science & Public Administration
  • Suthakaran Veerasamy, UWL assistant professor, Psychology
  • Tom Volk, UWL professor, Biology
  • Dawn Wacek, youth services manager, La Crosse Public Library

More on the speakers

June Kjome, retired nurse and self-described “old lady activist” and Sue Hessel, writer and personal historian. After graduating from college, Kjome worked in apartheid-era South Africa as a nurse. This experience inspired her to become a social justice advocate in Wisconsin, a journey that continues at age 97. Hessel has shared Kjome’s story as part of two books they have co-written. Hessel will share what she feels we can learn from Kjome’s life and actions.

Dawn Wacek, youth services manager, La Crosse Public Library and literacy advocate, supports the elimination of library fines to increase literacy, enhance information access and close the achievement gap, particularly in low-income communities.

Dany Bicoy, UWL student, spoken word artist, musician, will share a story about racial and ethnic identity, the seemingly small changes people of color often undergo to be successful and the compounding effects of those changes, including the loss of native languages and dialects over generations.

Timothy Dale, UWL associate professor, Political Science & Public Administration, will provide tips on how to frame political discussions to keep friends, create meaningful exchanges and, ultimately, preserve democracy.

Suthakaran Veerasamy, UWL assistant professor, psychology, will use an analogy to help people develop more empathy for others and gain a deeper understanding of the human condition.

Tom Volk, UWL professor of biology, mycologist, will share his battle with cancer, unexpected effects of treatment and his eventual need for a heart transplant. He speaks about health challenges, help he has received and the importance of organ donation.

Learn more about the TEDx program.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.

If you go —

What: Live TEDxUWLaCrosse event
When: 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8
Where: Bluffs Room, UWL Student Union
Tickets: Tickets are on sale now at the UWL Student Union or online at www.uwlax.edu/TedxUWL. $5 for students and $10 for others. Also, pre-order, specially designed event T-shirts, hand-printed by local artist Shoua Yang, are also available for $10 when purchasing tickets.