• September 23, 12 pm - 5 pm

What is tedxyouth@kc?

TEDxYouth@KC is an independently organized TED event in Kansas City. This year's theme is: Level Up.  Speakers, performers and interactive experiences are coming together to help us discover the path better understanding.

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxYouth KC, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxYouth event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TED

Speakers / performers

Ruby Rios

Ruby Rios is a senior student at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas and a cybersecurity intern at Cerner Corporation. She’s a leader in her school’s FIRST Robotics and forensics teams, and she’s been especially active in the Kansas City community, working to improve STEM-related opportunities for young people (STEM = science, technology, engineering, and math). Ruby believes more interesting educational activities can help Kansas City take the lead in bringing more girls and more diversity into STEM fields. Besides her technology interests, Ruby also loves dancing, and her favorite video game might be “Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix”.

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Debi Jackson

Debi Jackson lives with her husband and two children in Kansas City, Missouri. She has become an advocate for transgender rights and acceptance because of her daughter. She now speaks openly about her family to provide others with a personal connection to learn about transgender youth, using her story to prove that conservative Southern families can be supportive of LGBT issues. She has been interviewed by media across the US, the UK, France, Greece, Russia, South Africa, Colombia and Brazil. Debi was awarded the 2016 NEA GLBT Caucus Role Model Award for her contributions to education about the LGBTQ+ community. Her daughter, Avery, has also told her own story in a children’s book and was featured on a cover of the “Gender Revolution” issue of National Geographic magazine.

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Duncan Burnett

Much can be said about Duncan. He is a talented artist, musician and producer. Duncan got his start in music very early in life by being introduced to the drums. Always a stickler for perfection Duncan is continuing to master his craft and has extended his reach into Hip Hop. With an eclectic taste for music and versatile creativity to create and produce his own music, Duncan has created a sound individual to him. In addition to his attention to detail Duncan has revamped his live show, to a level of musicianship you are sure to love. Duncan is a showman at heart and providing fans with a live show is vital to him. Each member adds their own unique flavor and style to enhance the musical experience. While several talents and personalities make up this powerful collective they band together under the sole mission to provide a dynamic, energetic and commanding performance that captures the minds and hearts of the fans from the smallest of venues to arenas worldwide. Money never being the objective Duncan aims to make a positive impact in the hearts and minds of our generations youth. He's heading to the forefront and is ready to break through the glass ceiling reminding us to R.I.O.T. (Realize Its Our Time)

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Robert Manigold

Robert Manigold is COO of Code Koalas a Digital Agency specializing in Enterprise Drupal Solutions. Raised in Texas with a background in aviation Robert has a passion for Inclusion, specifically digital and disability inclusion. Robert is proud to be a supporter of Full Employment Council, PrepKC, Code The Block (after school program at Crossroads Academy) and Northland CAPS. Robert’s 18 year career at Southwest Airlines gave him incredible leadership opportunities and a great corporate cultural standard with which to build upon. Robert has a passion for bringing the best that Kansas City has to offer to the world and vice versa. He believes that creating opportunities for others is one of the keys to making the world better every day and is passionate about doing so.

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Erin Smith

Erin is the founder of FacePrint, a novel, telemedicine diagnostic tool for Parkinson’s disease using early stage biomarkers she discovered and digitized in facial muscle movements using facial recognition software and machine learning algorithms. FacePrint has won numerous awards, including winning the #BUILTBYGIRLS Challenge at Twitter Headquarters to display at the 2016 San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt Conference Startup Alley and receive mentorship and funding from BBG Ventures. Her work has been featured in Seventeen Magazine, Forbes, and Fortune. Erin has won awards for her research at several international science competitions, including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and International BioGENEius Challenge. Further, Erin loves participating in hackathons and is the co-founder of KC Steminists, which teaches middle and high school students the fundamentals of computer science. In her free time, Erin loves to cook creamy white chicken chili and spend time with friends and family.

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Hammerhedd is a band of brothers that started in their basement in 2012. Henry, 15, plays lead guitar and vocals, Eli, 13, plays the drums and 10 year old Abe plays the bass. They are a mostly metal band with influences such as Metallica, Anthrax and Havok. Hammerhedd got their start at the school talent show and have since had many opportunities all over the city playing different venues including The Sprint Center, Knuckleheads and street performances. The band hopes to record some of their original material and cut an album in the near future. But for now, they love playing live shows and exposing audiences to old school metal.

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Kori Carew

Kori Carew is a feminist and social justice advocate who was born in Canada, grew up as a Sierra Leonean raised in Nigeria pushing against paradigms that attempt to dictate the direction of individual choices and -isms that divide communities. Using advocacy and organizational strategy to address structural barriers to diversity in the workplace, she brings an incisive voice, unapologetic questioning of the status quo, and a lifelong fascination of human potential to empowering women and marginalized people and improving inclusion. Her drive toward redefining the circle of belonging fuels her work in the marketplace as well as in her community.

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Suellen Fried

SuEllen Fried is a passionate child advocate, a provocative author and an inspired Volunteer. She served as a volunteer dance and drama therapist at Osawatomie State Hospital for 17 years, co-founded a self-help program for inmates, Reaching Out From Within, with a member of the Lifer’s Club in every Kansas prison in 1982. She still attends weekly meetings after 35 years. In 1976 she organized the Model State Chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America in Kansas and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors 1980-82. She is a Life Board member of the fifty state organization. Professionally, she’s been a Dance/Movement therapist and co-authored three books on bullying. “Bullies & Victims” with her daughter, Paula Fried, Ph.D. was published in 1996 – three years before the Columbine tragedy. Her latest book, “Banishing Bullying Behavior” co-authored with Blanche Sosland, PhD., was published in 2009. Fried has worked with over 80,000 students, educators, parents, in 36 states. She has appeared on the TODAY Show, CBS News, and Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. She has received numerous national and international awards, including President George H. Bush’s 900th Point of Light.

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Eman Chalshotori

Eman Chalshotori leads a dynamic career as a performing artist. He enjoys a merited reputation as a musician of exceptional versatility and integrity. His musical horizons are seemingly boundless and he is in great demand both as a chamber musician and as a solo performer. Eman has performed internationally in Asia and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. He made his solo debut in 2002 with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto. Eman was most recently featured with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Orchestra performing Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote. Eman is Principal cellist of the Topeka Symphony and Associate Principal cellist for the Midwest Chamber Ensemble. Outside of the classical music realm, Eman has collaborated with many artists including Imogen Heap, Elspeth Summers, Elephant Revival, Disturbed, including Kansas City resident acrobatic ballet company, Quixotic. Eman received his Bachelors of Music from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Masters of Music and Artist Certificate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Guy Parkhurst, Dr. Tess Remy-Schumacher, Dr. Evgeny Raychev, Carter Enyeart, and Mark Gibbs.

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Paul Atchley

Paul Atchley has been conducting research and teaching about cognitive factors related to driving for over 25 years. He is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on issues of vision and attention, including their relationship to driving. Atchley is part of state and national efforts to reduce distracted driving and works with Fortune 500 companies to improve fleet safety. He also works with groups like the National Safety Council, LifeSavers, FocusDriven and We Save Lives to provide expertise on the science of distracted driving, which causes thousands of crashes each year. Atchley’s work has been highlighted major media outlets such as the BBC, NPR, Time, and the New York Times.

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Tank and The Bangas

Originating in New Orleans, Tank and The Bangas have all the qualities that relates them, to the city that birth them but a flair that separates them as well. Their performances range from being “One of the most energetic shows you’ll ever see” to “A gospel tent in Mississippi”. Rummaging through their sound like a thrift store hippie, you’ll find the Bangas to provoke a musical reference of Rhythmic Soul and Spoken word among other genres such as Rock, Gospel, Funk, and Folk. Combining the various musical techniques among the Bangas, coupled with the instilling play on lyrics from the lead vocalist; Tank and The Bangas have quilted a unique sound that singles them as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans. The group has graced the cover of one of New Orleans most recognized magazines, “OffBeat” and recently won band of the year at the New Orleans Big Easy Awards. The group has opened for acts such as LiAnne LaHavas, PJ Morton, Galactic, Big Freedia, The Revivalist, and The Soul Rebels. Most recently the band was titled as the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners.

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Nathaniel Bozarth

Nathaniel Bozarth is an ethnographer and producer with Brainroot Light & Sound. He has co-produced such projects as Your Fellow Americans, Re:Dream, and Wide Ruled, and is always working to enlighten viewers or listeners about the impact or race and immigration on opportunity in America. He is critically concerned with contextualizing the stories he tells within the larger historical narrative of America and within the context of culture writ large.

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tedxyouth@kc organizers

Mary Beth LeCluyse

Mary Beth LeCluyse works at a railroad company during the week. Nights and weekends she is a super-volunteer sitting on boards, helping with school auctions, managing conferences and connecting sponsors with events that make them shine.

Evan Lukaszewski

Evan is a freshman at Shawnee Mission East. He likes video games and reading. He helps manage day of event logistics.

Meg Bradley

Meg Bradley, a recent graduate from Missouri State University is this years designer for all things Level Up! She recently began her career in the KC ad world interning at Intouch Solutions in art direction. In her free time she loves traveling and the next stop on her list is Patagonia and Easter Island.

John Coler

John spreads the good word of TEDxYouth to Kansas Citians and fills in on the team wherever he's needed. John enjoys dropping puns in casual conversation, leading quality assurance efforts at RFP365, and helping connect interesting people that keep Kansas City leveling up.

Finn Anderson

Finn is a Freshman at Shawnee Mission East that enjoys participating in community events, he’s the sponsor coordinator.

Kai Achen

Kai is a student at Shawnee Mission East High. He helps ensure events run smoothly and on schedule, and helps with audio/visual aesthetics from the booth.

Ryan Mohamadi

Ryan, a youth volunteer, is a a senior at the Barstow School. He enjoys competing in Taekwondo.

Justin Christian

Justin is as a Front-End Developer for Homebase.ai. He is a tech enthusiast and enjoys giving back. When he's not working on TEDxYouth@KC, he likes to spend time with his family.

Frances Schaughnessy

Student at Bishop Miege. HRC activist, musician and creative.

Jennifer Rivas

Jen is a financial services professional that should have been an art teacher. Assists with event planning and operations.

Mike Lundgren

Mike Lundgren is the Director of Innovation Strategy at VML. In addition to being the founder of TEDxKC, Mike is an active member the TED community and a co-organizer and youth advisor for TEDYouth@KC