.TEDxSantaCruz Returns After Four Years

The event’s theme is ‘Rising Together’

TEDxSantaCruz is back for its first in-person event since 2019, taking over Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theatre with a stacked lineup of speakers this coming April 13.

The theme is “Rising Together,”  and celebrates the greater Santa Cruz County community’s collective strength and seeks to provide new ideas and solutions to build resilience as a local and global community, according to a press release.

“Rising Together” addresses challenges such as poverty, racism, global climate change, food insecurity and divisiveness, according to Consuelo Alba, one of the key producers of the event. Alba is best known as the founder of the Watsonville Film Festival. The emphasis of the event will be on the need for “massive collaboration” to solve these challenges.

Throughout the day of the event, talks will be given in English with Spanish translation, in order to include as many community members as possible.

TED is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984 that puts on conferences, called TEDx, where short talks are delivered by leaders in their field. These include scientists, philosophers, philanthropists, musicians, business leaders and religious leaders.

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TEDxSantaCruz began 2011 as an independently-organized iteration of TEDx, and has hosted a total of 106 speakers in the area.

For this year’s installment, 30 speakers will take the stage who were selected out of a pool of 130 applications by a 10-person committee made up of local leaders. These include Nada Miljkovic of the University of California Santa Cruz, and Elana Solon and Jenny Kurzweil of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

“We were beyond impressed by the overall quality of the applications, the innovative thinking in our community, both in terms of building social movements and developing technology. The applications we received were by and large a showcase of how people in this community are powerful forces for good,” said Miljkovic.

The criteria for selecting the finalists included the quality of each talk’s content, how it provided new perspectives on a topic and relevance to both local concerns and global issues. The ability for the proposed talk to inspire calls to action was also weighed.

Here are some of the speakers and topics:

  • Kara Meyberg Guzman — Local News: Telling Our Story Through the Lens of Listening
  • MariaElena De La Garza — What Did You Call Me? Reclaiming Our Power Through Language
  • Kat Armstrong & Jorge Guillen — Someone Like Me: Drag Matters
  • Nicole Beck — Rainwater Not Wastewater

The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County is the presenting sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include: Rise Together Fund for Racial Equity at the Community Foundation, Driscoll’s, UCSC’s The Humanities Institute/Office of the Chancellor/Baskin School of Engineering, Lookout Santa Cruz, Watsonville Film Festival, Cabrillo College and Santa Cruz Community Credit Union.

TEDxSanta Cruz: Rising Together will be held Saturday April 13 at Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theatre from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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