It’s TEDx time

Image of letters "TEDxUWLaCrosse" on the floor of the Graff Main Hall auditorium.

Self-described ‘old-lady activist’ kicks off next live TEDxUWLa Crosse event Feb. 8

Long-time activist and La Crosse resident June Kjome shares her secret to aging well during UWL’s next live TEDxUWLaCrosse event from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Bluffs Room, UWL Student Union.

A hint? It has nothing to do with fancy face creams or good genes.

It’s about how Kjome has lived her life — constantly learning about issues, showing concern for others and getting involved in those causes. Kjome, age 97, will share her journey to becoming a life-long advocate for numerous social justice causes during a video interview with local author and biographer Susan Hessel as part of the event.

Large "X" with images depicting a chain reaction. At the bottom it reads, "Chain Reaction"Kjome’s story demonstrates a chain reaction, just like five other speakers who will present during the TEDxUWLaCrosse event. They include:

  • 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

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,” and, in that spirt, 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. During the upcoming event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection around ideas related to “Chain Reaction.”

Sue Hessel, local author and biographer, interviewing June Kjome, a local advocate for numerous social justice causes, who shares her secret to aging well and other wisdom. Kjome’s interview will be played during the TEDxUW-La Crosse event, along with other speakers and TED talks.

Kjome will share one of her best ideas — to get off your duff.

“When you see evil in the world or things that are really wrong, it doesn’t do any good to sit there and cluck your tongue and complain,” says Kjome. “You need to speak out, name what is going wrong and do what you can to rectify it.”

A self-proclaimed “old-lady activist,” Kjome started her life after college as a missionary nurse in South Africa during Apartheid. She was appalled by racism in Africa; however, upon returning to La Crosse, she found similar inequality.

“There was plenty of work to do for justice and for peace right here in my own backyard,” she says.

Her TEDx talk is based on the book Hessel wrote about Kjome’s many insights, “June Kjome: Reflections on Aging.”

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 $5 for students and $10 for general public. Also, pre-order, specially designed event t-shirts, hand-printed by local artist Shoua Yang, are also available for $10 when purchasing tickets.

Learn more about the TEDx program.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.