Bellevue College hosts TEDx: Perception

Audience talking in the lobby before the event. Courtesy of Nichole Beattie

On Tuesday, April 4 in the Carlson Theater, Bellevue College hosted its first independently organized TEDx event featuring speakers and performers from the local community. The event, titled perception was hosted by ASG External Legislative Affairs Representative Jahkari Aujla-Singh and Black Student Union coordinator Shemshia Kassa.  The theme of the event was Perception, with all speakers and performers aiming to evoke thought and discussion in the audience. Admission to the event was free and fully sold out in the theater as well as in multiple rooms elsewhere on campus where a livestream of the event was provided.

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TEDx is an independently organized event that operates under the license of TED. A TEDx event requires a central theme, similar format as a TED event as well as other regulations and is an opportunity for community members to extend their voices and ideas onstage.

The event opened with corporate magician Darrel Fisher who invited audience members to come onstage and participate in a variety of magic tricks. After Fisher’s act, various speakers took to the stage sharing their stories and ideas through 10 to 20 minute talks. The event also featured the cast of BC’s production of “Carrie the Musical,” who performed two songs from the upcoming show.

“We chose to host a TEDx event in part because of the occasion of the 50th anniversary. Bringing the national brand of TED to the college would help improve the visibility and profile of Bellevue College in the community,” said coordinator Alonda Williams. “Hopefully even more people will want to participate in the future. I think this event helped to elevate the profile of Bellevue College in the eyes of the community.”

“I was inspired by all of the amazing speakers with whom I was honored to share the stage,” said BC Professor of Anthropology and TEDx speaker Dr. Nancy Gonlin. “This TEDx conference focused on a wide range of topics from which everyone could take away a positive message of hope and caring. Seeing a person’s true worth was a prime message as well as the importance of an open mind. The talent that was recruited was truly impressive.”

Bellevue College encourages the community to join the discussion. “Those in the BC community can share the videos once they are available,” said Williams. “Additionally, there is a student group that will be discussing top TED talks over the next six weeks. It would be great to support TED in this manner. Finally, all can stay connected to the TED website to stay on top of other local TED events as well as view new TED content.”