More than 200 educators and community members attended LMU’s first TEDx conference – TEDxLoyolaMarymountU – on Saturday, April 6 in Murphy Recital Hall. Organized by a team of graduate students in the School of Education and Teach For America Partnership program, TEDxLoyolaMarymountU answered questions such as, “What does a lemon have to do with student empowerment?” and “What can we learn about culture from an online shoe and clothing company?”
Speakers from outside the field of education – who ranged from an interior architect to a culture evangelist at Zappos to a flight commander in the U.S. Air Force – discussed innovative ideas that addressed issues in education, such as mentoring, gaming, organizational culture, messaging and political action.
John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, described his vision and action plan for the nation’s second-largest school district – it is for 100% of LAUSD students to graduate college and be career ready.
Other speakers included: Blair Bloomston from Game on Nation, former Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers NFL scout Bucky Brooks, Annie Chu from Chu + Gooding Architects, Michael Connor with Homeboy Industries and MIH Entertainment, Julie Eberly of Lemonade Day, Ellen Ensher from Loyola Marymount University, Dan Schnur from the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, J. Gerald Suarez from the University of Maryland, Captain Casey B. Whitson from the U.S. Air Force and Jonathan Wolske from Zappos.
“The TEDx event was a wonderful concoction, mixing conscious and innovative graduate students, a set of speakers who incited intellectual friction and inspiration, good natured attendees who mingled with each other’s ideas and community organizations sharing their info and work,” said Ernesto Colin, an assistant professor in the LMU School of Education. “There was great social media, tech, food and music. I walked away a wealthier educator.”
The conference was emceed by Rob Benedict, an actor known for his roles in Waiting and Supernatural, whose band, Louden Swain, performed as a lead-in to the second session. There were additional performances by spoken word artist Javon Johnson and singer Kimberly Monks.