TEDxModesto Gets A Piece Of Oak­dale

The Oakdale Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By TERESA HAM­MOND tham­mond@oak­dale­leader.com

Stand­ing cen­ter stage and speak­ing at the Gallo Cen­ter for the Arts is likely not a place El­iz­a­beth Wight en­vi­sioned her­self five years ago. Today, how­ever, Wed­nes­day, Sept. 27 it is ex­actly where she will be, as she and six oth­ers par­tic­i­pate in the In­au­gu­ral TEDxModesto event or­ga­nized by Josh Boyd.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease on the TEDxModesto web­site, the idea for the event was prompted fol­low­ing nu­mer­ous low rank­ings the city of Modesto re­ceived on vary­ing rank­ing lists. An Oak­dale com­mu­nity mem­ber, Wight is the CEO of Modesto-based In­ter­faith Min­istries. She will be joined on stage by: Sherry McIn­tyre, Erica Ormsby, Eric Jung, Sam Pier­storff, Em­manuel Es­camilla and Galen Car­roll. Each will be ad­dress­ing topics they are both pas­sion­ate about and that are per­ti­nent to the Cen­tral Val­ley.

“Josh Boyd, the or­ga­nizer, let me know that he had ap­plied for a li­cense to bring the event to our area in the sum­mer of 2016,” Wight said. “For TEDx specif­i­cally, I feel like TED-ed and TEDx are a huge part of our cur­rent cul­ture.”

The ‘x’ in TEDx in­di­cates an in­de­pen­dently or­ga­nized event granted li­cens­ing per­mis­sion from TED (Tech­nol­ogy, En­ter­tain­ment and De­sign). ‘X’ events are lo­cal gath­er­ings host­ing dy­namic speak­ers and of­fer­ing a unique com­mu­nity gath­er­ing. As it is with a TED talk, the TEDxModesto speak­ers were asked to keep their seg­ments at 18 min­utes or less.

“The re­quire­ments and guide­lines are ex­tremely de­tailed and an event takes months of plan­ning, fi­nan­cial spon­sor­ships, and a rig­or­ous screen­ing of topics and speak­ers,” Wight said of the lo­cal event. “In some ar­eas, peo­ple would ap­ply to be speak­ers but in this case, we were all in­vited. TEDx isn’t re­ally about “great speak­ers,” it’s about shar­ing great ideas, or “ideas worth spread­ing,” to use the of­fi­cial lan­guage.”

Wight spent the bet­ter part of the past year pre­par­ing for her 17-plus min­utes of the unique event. The topic she was asked to speak on is

that of hunger in Amer­ica and what that looks like.

“The idea that hunger doesn’t al­ways look the way we ex­pect it to in Amer­ica, so we can be quick to dis­miss it as a prob­lem that doesn’t ap­ply to us, but that fight­ing food in­se­cu­rity eth­i­cally on a lo­cal level im­pacts lives in un­ex­pected ways.

“This is deeply im­por­tant to me, both on a per­sonal level, as some­one who has ex­pe­ri­enced food in­se­cu­rity,” she con­tin­ued, “and pro­fes­sion­ally, as I work to ad­dress hunger every day in my pro­fes­sion.”

Ac­cord­ing to the speaker, the event will be filmed and edited be­fore it’s re­leased for pub­lic view­ing, a process which can take sev­eral weeks.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

In­ter­faith Min­istries CEO and Oak­dale com­mu­nity mem­ber El­iz­a­beth Wight will be one of seven guest speak­ers tak­ing to the stage at Gallo Cen­ter for the Arts, today, Sept. 27 as a part of TEDxModesto.

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