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April 5, 2018 
Office of College Advancement 
Ohlone College

Fremont, CA—Change means different things to different people and each of us handles change differently. For some it's an everyday happening and for others it's rare and frightening. How to cope?

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, Ohlone College hosted a TEDx talk titled “Embrace the Unknown” to a sold-out audience at the college's Newark campus. With 10 presenters that included students, faculty, and known authorities on change, audience members were inspired and entertained throughout the four-hour event. The event concluded with a keynote presentation by Dr. Alberto Ledesma, Graduate Diversity Director, Division of Arts & Humanities, College of Letters & Science at University of California, Berkeley. A reception followed the keynote presentation with refreshments, followed by a book signing with Dr. Ledesma for his book Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer.

Ohlone Communications Studies instructor, Larissa Favela, coordinated the event which was inspired by and supported by student Nico Montes. “The TED talk people were very helpful with clear directions on their website and follow-up instructions once other preliminary details were settled,” said Favela, “but I give most of the credit to Nico. This was his idea and his passion.” She went on to say, “Change is a broad enough topic that everyone can relate to on some level. It is universal but still focused. This was a student-lead event.”

Panelists were selected in a number of ways. Some volunteered, some were nominated, and some came forward after hearing about the event. Dr. Alberto Ledesma & documentarian Denise Solar - Cox waived their normal speaking fees to participate in the event. Travel and lodging expenses were sponsored by ODIAC (Ohlone Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee). Denise Solar – Cox spoke at the college last year at Ohlone College's Social Justice conference and was invited back because of her inspirational perspective on Latino-American identity development.

The audience was diverse and comprised of about 65% students. Evaluation forms distributed after the panel presentation reflected deep appreciation for the topics raised, especially Ohlone student Sam Campbell's presentation on the Gender Universe and Ohlone professor Rose-Margaret Itua's presentation on unknown narratives. Other comments were “Empowering,” “Enjoyable,” and “Impactful.”

TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design, and includes the phrase “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The cost of tickets to attend TED talks can be in the thousands of dollars. TEDx events are volunteer based and locally organized with a ticket limit of $100 and maximum of 100 participants. However, Nico and Larissa wanted Ohlone's TEDx event to be as accessible as possible so pricing was set to encourage student and local community member participation. The Ohlone TEDx talk sold out quickly.

Ohlone College is considering other TEDx talks in the future. For more information about the March 10th event, contact Larissa Favela (lfavela@ohlone.edu) or visit https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/25339.

Attendees participating at Tedx event.Attendees participating at Tedx event.

Attendees standing and smiling at camera.Attendees standing and smiling at camera.

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