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Speakers inspire audience at Bellarmine’s yearly TEDx event



by Maggie Skellie


The TEDxBellarmineU event on March 15 drew in a large crowd to hear the seven speakers discuss the theme of “Community Resilience.” The speakers’ stories inspired individuals who came to hear the presentations that evening.


The first speaker that evening was Steven Michael Carr, who discussed storytelling and its impact on community engagement. “When we tell each other stories we realize just how different we all are and how beautiful that difference is,“ Carr said during his presentation.


The second speaker was Gin Spaulding, who discussed understanding children with sensory issues and advocating for effective education for those individuals. In her presentation, Spaulding said “You want to be your child’s number one advocate. Your child’s going to need you. They’re going to need someone that gets them and understands them.”


Michael Kopp, who discussed HIV/AIDS activism and the necessity of community fellowship assisting in the progress of disease prevention, was the third speaker. “When the truth of history is actively portrayed, we can situate ourselves and our experiences in the timeline and learn from our past,” Kopp said in his presentation.


Zoey Parker was the fourth speaker of the evening and discussed a brief history of bluegrass music and its roots, emphasizing the community surrounding bluegrass music in Kentucky. Parker introduced the songs “Old Joe Clark” and “I’ll Fly Away” by playing them with two other musicians. Brandon Priest played guitar, Lucian Parker played the fiddle, and Parker played the banjo.


After a short intermission, Jim Loring spoke fifth. Loring discussed his trips to Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and other places in the world as a photographer. Loring compared the photography advice of opening your frame of vision in a camera to the individuals stuck in poverty overcoming their hardships. “For those trapped in poverty to find a way and see beyond the problem is a rule of life. And it’s only when we see with heart and mind that we truly understand,” Loring said during his presentation.


The sixth speaker was DeWana Hadder, who discussed the history, difficulties, and revival of the Russell Neighborhood in Louisville. “The Russell community stands as a beacon of unity where diverse voices harmonize to create strength,” Hadder said during her presentation.


The seventh and final speaker of the evening was Clay Marshall. Marshall discussed his hardships as a dance studio owner during the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of human interaction and dance, and the history and revival of tango. Marshall was accompanied by his dance partner Cherie Lanier, pianist Winnie Cheung, bassist Pablo Zavattieri, and violinist Janice Lee for an improvised tango performance after his speech. “You don’t listen to a song to get to the end of it. Dancing puts that idea into practice directly in your body and your relationships,” Marshall said during his presentation.


Many of the audience members said they were touched by the stories shared. “I loved Steven Carr’s talk. I think it was so great to talk about how you can connect with people. Part of storytelling is listening, and I think it’s so important now to connect with people and hear their stories,” Philip Truman, a Bellarmine alumnus, said.


Bellarmine alumna Kathryn Truman said: “It was really interesting to hear [Jim Loring] talk about other cultures and how different community is there. I think he truly spoke to the resiliency of coming back from hard times and being stronger together.”


Robin Goben, friend of Steven Carr and audience member, said: “I was really taken in by the photographer [Jim Loring] and the way he connected looking at the frame to changing your view in the world, that was fascinating. And of course my friend, Steven Michael Carr, his talk was also excellent.”


The 2024 TEDxBellarmineU event was livestreamed, and can be viewed on their Facebook page. https://fb.watch/qVfJ4ti-WF/

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