TEDx at the Walker today was sold out. A full room to see and hear women speak on a range of topics. There was a time when I was up on everything TED – but it was fun to go to an event after a hiatus. I enjoyed thinking about specific things in a new way, through the lens of the speaker. And it was fun to take notes in the form on Tweeting for Women’s March MN. So my notes are fairly brief…
Kate Beane, Ph.D.
Kate spoke about her perspective as a Native, Dakota woman and her work changing the name of Calhoun Lake to Bde Maka Ska. In school I studied the impact in Ireland of the changing of place names from Irish to English, the loss of language are a powerful tool of colonizers. American settlers were no different. Kate spoke of the importance and impact of place names, of language and history and her plan to take back her culture for herself and her children. She used a phrase I’ve heard before and really loved… she was not invited to the table to discuss the issue of culture so she brought her own chair. I love that idea and have also heard an extension of bringing your own chair and one for someone else. I think that’s powerful message for women!
Anyway Kate brought the chair. She and her sister fought the good fight and now we have a richer history in Minnesota and a place where she and her family can feel at home. (Not just the lake, she talked about other areas too.) She recognized the importance of remembers historical trauma but the goal to not pass it onto her children.
Fatima Camara, poet
Fatima compared her experience in Guinea and the US. About being inside and outside of a community. About time and direction – “I always knew where I was going; you couldn’t tell me where i was from.”
Via is a singer, dancer and artist. She spoke about her very purposeful evolution. She listened to her intuition, decided to make a change and moved forward with the change. It was this process that led her to Paris and life as a global, rather than local Minnesota, artist. Trust was a big player in her story; trust in yourself. Trust in the little voice that say – you knew that wasn’t right or just do it because it does feel right.
Carol Bruess, Ph.D.
Carol is an interesting mix of relationship researcher and avocational wedding dress maker. A tenet of her talk was understanding that while a dress can be beautiful on the outside, it was be a mess in the inside. (If you’ve ever watched Project Runway you know what that might mean.) So you can’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside. Know that everyone has rough stitches inside. But she had a few tips to keep a relationship alive. Apparently people who have pet names for each other have healthier relationships. Also – and this makes more sense to me – contempt is a relationship killer. So my striving to contain my contempt or save it for people I don’t know. (Several politicians come to mind.)
Alex West Steinman
Alex is one of the founders of the Coven, a workspace for women and non-binary people. She spoke about her personal history growing up African American in predominately white schools. She told a touching story of picture day in second grade when all of the blond heads shared a comb to smooth our their hair. SO did she, to a much difference effect. It’s a lesson of recognizing and learning to love differences. And for Alex it was a story of moving out from the shadows and learning to use her voice – and then make space (with the Coven) for others to use their voice too.
Chavah Gabrielle, poet
Chavah had a line I just loved, and I hope I’m getting it right – Sometime my love is too hot and I burn people”
Dr. Rachel Allyn
Rachel is a body-focused psychologist. She talks about learning to ask for more of your body and for yourself and learning to listen to what your body wants and needs and when to it has had enough.
Jocelyn wrote a composition based on the notebooks of Leonardo De Vinci. She spoke about recognizing the connection between visual, aural and building a natural idea.
The next TEDxMInneapolis even will be Aug 10. You can apply now to be a speaker.