Sadie Burton, Guest Contributor • firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 7, 2018, students and faculty at Emory & Henry College gathered in the Kennedy-Reedy Theater of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts for the third annual TEDxEHC event. The theme for this year was DIY: Together. According to Alana Simmons, the Project Coordinator from the Inclusion & Dialogue Center, the goal of a TEDx event is, “To help communities and organizations start a dialogue. It is an initiative of the tech conference that is independently organized.”
The first speaker of the night was Travis Proffitt, the Director of Academic Diversity Initiatives at Emory & Henry. He shared personal stories with the audience about how he learned to come to terms with his sexual orientation growing up. Throughout his high school years, Proffitt felt lonely and isolated, and believed that he hid his true identity from those around him. Since graduating high school, he has come out to his family, friends, and community, and believes that his previous experience of being afraid and isolated was the biggest influence for his career path.
Proffitt noted that the Appalachian community struggles with tolerating and embracing diversity, but said, “We can make things better by educating ourselves about the things we don’t understand.”
The next presentation came from Susan Seubert, an award-winning photographer for National Geographic Traveler.
Seubert explained how she first became interested in photography and the opportunities that arose after contributing her photography for the Garden Style magazine.
Seubert said that having a career as a photographer is not as simple as some might think. She explained, “This career is not for the meek, every day you get up for work, and you have to reapply for your job. You are only as good as your last shot.”
Seubert finished by clarifying that human interest is what makes a great photograph stand out from the average photograph.
Viewers want to be able to be told a story through what they are seeing.
The next speaker, Adam Mosley, a former pastor, is now the Director of Global Business Development for Uzima Water Filters.
This job allows him to help supply less economically developed countries with clean water. Mosley expressed that he has seen hunger, famine, and thirst when visiting less fortunate countries, but that since distributing the new water filters, he has also seen hope.
The last speaker of the night was Allyss Haecker, the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Emory & Henry College.
Haecker noted that there are stereotypes about the different kinds of music genres. She suggests that one way to experience different cultures is to switch the kinds of music people regularly listen to.
Listening to music of different heritages and expanding one’s knowledge of music can help educate a person on different customs and lifestyles in the world, said Haecker.