We’re excited to announce that the videos for each of the talks given at TEDxLSSU: Identity are now available to watch on YouTube! So, whether you were not able to attend the live event in March OR you did attend and want to watch one (or more) of your favorite talks from the evening again, here are the links to each talk:
TEDxLSSU: Identity is just 5 days away! Will we see you next Wednesday at 7pm in the LSSU Library? It’s going to be a fantastic evening of “ideas worth spreading”!
Our final speaker profile is Dr. James Wilkerson, who currently serves as the Director of Equity and Diversity, Title IX Coordinator, and Greek advisor at Indiana University Southeast. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville (BA and Juris Doctorate) and Bellarmine University (MA). Since 2016, he has traveled to schools across the country, speaking on topics such as sexual assault prevention, masculinity, and black male identity.
James’ talk is titled, “When We Cry: Mental Health, Masculinity, and Male Identity”:
“Every day, millions of men live with mental trauma due to toxic masculinity factors taught at a young age and sustained through life, and are unequipped to deal with it. Left unchecked, this trauma can manifest itself into crimes such as domestic violence, sexual misconduct, and murder. It is important that men understand how the masculinity identity can act as a barrier on the path to mental health, and apply healthy masculinity methods in order to (1) bypass these barriers, (2) break the toxic cycle for future generations of young boys, and (3) help their fellow men remove toxic stigmas in approaching their own trauma, thus creating a healthy male identity. “
TEDxLSSU: Identity is just 9 days away!
Meet our next speaker, LSSU student Sawyer Dowd:
“I am a sophomore at LSSU, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Pre-Law. I am currently the vice-president of our LSSU SAGE (Sex And Gender Equality) Club, Cultural Diversity Officer for the LSSU Student Government, and soon to be the Events Coordinator for our Native American Club. I am a full time student. In my free time, I like to read books and watch video essays about topics that I care about, such as diversity in video games. I also spent a lot of my time playing video games and interacting with others online. The most important thing to me is inclusivity, and having spaces where everyone can feel welcome and comfortable to express themselves and their ideas. “
Sawyer’s talk is titled, “The Importance of Recognizing Intersectionality”:
“I will talk about intersectionality, how it affects suicide rates, and what solutions we can provide to lower said rates. This relates to the theme of identity because factors such as ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and mental illness all contribute to a person’s identity. These factors are very important in making us who we are, and I feel that we need to support those who have faced challenges based on these factors in any way that we can.”
Ana Smith and Colin Corby are co-speakers for one our talks. Ana Smith is a 20-year career coach veteran studious of human behavior, operating in the crossing of business, psychology, and tech. She has helped thousands of sr. leaders, managers, and teams successfully manage the human side of organizational change.
Colin Corby is a technologist, digital wellbeing coach, ironman triathlete, and has a passion for nature. He is fascinated by the collision between technology and psychology, and how this relationship is changing our world, our health, and the way we think, feel and behave.
Ana and Colin’s talk is titled, “Are We Losing our Human Identity to Technology?”:
“What it’s like to be you, is a fundamental part of our consciousness, identity, and being alive. Everything that we experience, every thought and feeling has the potential to limit what we do next. Our past informs both the present and our expectations of the future, and most of the time we won’t even realize that it’s happening. With the pervasiveness of Algorithms and AI, our lives and identities are already being shaped as never before. With billions of dollars being invested in the race for general intelligence AI exceeding that of humans, what chance do we have of being unique individuals, to be ourselves?”
Rev. Brandan Robertson is a noted author, activist, and public theologian working at the intersections of spirituality and social renewal. A prolific writer, he is the author of seven books on spirituality, justice, and theology, including the INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist True Inclusion: Creating Communities of Radical Embrace. In 2021, Rolling Stone Magazine included Robertson in its annual “Hot List” of top artists, creatives, and influencers who “are giving us reason to be excited about the future.” Each year, Robertson speaks on a variety of topics across the globe and has been an honored speaker at renowned institutions from The White House to Oxford University. Robertson received his Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Theology from Moody Bible Institute, his Master of Theological Studies from Iliff School of Theology, his Master of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from Eastern Illinois University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Religion from Drew University.
Brandan’s talk is titled, “Gay and Christian, No Contradiction”:
“In this talk, I will weave together my journey as an LGBTQ+ Christian pastor who began within the evangelical tradition, was forced into conversion therapy, and after that failed to ‘heal’ me, I moved to reconcile my faith and sexuality. After spending a decade studying the Bible and Christian theology, I was surprised to find that the anti-LGBTQ+ interpretations of Scripture were wholly inconsistent with a historical approach to the Bible, and discovered a long tradition of queer people within the pages of the Bible and throughout Christian history. In this talk, I will share why homophobic interpretations of the Bible are plainly incorrect and how LGBTQ+ people can reclaim their place in as rightful members of the community of faith.”
Our next speaker profiled is Koral Fritz, an LSSU faculty member in the Lukenda School of Business.
Koral states, “By design, I’m a learner, explorer, and lover. I believe people can change and that is actually what we are supposed to do during our lives. However, I’ve found that many normalized experiences in life will intercept our personal development and will dethatch us from our authenticity. I seek to step boldly into vulnerability to share my experiences with trauma and the subsequent healing that continues to serve as a support and friend to those that suffer silently and need a safe harbor. I’m a teacher in many forms. I teach the law, business, yoga, and self exploration. I share my life openly, and I learn by trial and error.”
Koral’s talk is titled, “Using Mirrors to Explore and Develop the Self”:
“Exploring your self identity will require empathy, patience, and grace. Cultivating empathy for yourself and others is a learned skill that requires practice. To get to know the self, you may need to confront and assess both things you love and do well but also the parts of yourself you’d like to disclaim, change, or ignore. We need to collectively improve our relationship to shame, guilt, fear, and anger to move forward as a more empathetic society.
My talk will discuss how humans can lean into discomfort to stimulate growth. Specifically, I will explore how glass mirrors are an excellent tool for self exploration and share techniques on how to engage in mirror work, and highlight how we can use other humans as mirrors that help us understand how we project ourselves and impact others.”
TEDxLSSU: Identity is just 5 weeks away! Are you as excited as we are?
Over the next few weeks we will be profiling our speakers and sharing a bit about their talks.
Sean Douglas is a U.S. Air Force Veteran Retired, John Maxwell Speaker, TEDx Speaker, Top 3% Podcaster, Bestselling Author, and a Business Positioning Strategist. His talk is titled, “The Answer to Veteran Suicides, and Why Identity Matters.”
“We always hear about how 22 veterans a day take their lives, but no one has been able to nail down the exact reasons or the path chosen for suicide to be an option. The reasons vary, the circumstances vary. As a Retired Non-Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Air Force, I can tell you firsthand how I lost my identity, and furthermore, knew it would happen. My talk will address how the military community, retired and currently serving, face an identity crisis as we exit our careers.”