x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
December 2, 2012
11:00am - 5:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
San Diego, CA
United States

TEDxWomen is a TEDx event organized by the Paley Center for Media that focuses on women and women’s issues. TEDxWomen type events are TEDx events hosted around the live webcast of TEDxWomen, and also feature local speakers. Our event is called TEDxAmericasFinestCityWomen and is one of many TEDx events happening around the globe between November 30th and December 1st that will expand on the ideas brought up at TEDxWomen.

TEDxAmericasFinestCity is excited to announce TEDxAmericasFinestCityWomen in Collaboration with TEDxWomen. This years theme is The Space Between and will feature presentations addressing the space between: Poverty and Plenty, Fact and Faith, IQ and EQ, The Mirror, Endings and Beginnings and The Rising.

Our event will be held December 2nd featuring the recorded simulcast and local live speakers. Purchase tickets here.

If you are need of a scholarship, apply here (applications due November 15th)

Institute of the Americas, UCSD
10111 N Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA, 92037
United States
Event type:
TEDxWomen (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Americas­Finest­City­Women events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.


Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician and psychosocial oncologist at UC San Diego Cancer Center. He began his career as a Gynecologic Oncologist. Today, his primary interests are empowering cancer patients and the impact of transgenerational emotional patterns in illness. He is the author of many books and has lectured throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia on the psychology of health and illness. Paul has recently appeared on the K.P.B.S. series, “The Truth About Cancer” and moderated the award winning K.P.B.S. series, “Healing Through Communication”.


Charlotte Backman is a mandala (MAHN-dah-lah) artist, teacher and facilitator whose art is seen in collections around the world. The history of the mandala is multicultural and rich, but simply put, is any symmetrical design radiating from a center, such as a flower. For Charlotte, painting mandalas evolved from a fun diversion to artistic expression, to spiritual practice, to a life’s work. “As I immersed myself in this particular art form, I began to learn the lessons of the right brain, and the benefits of applying them to life as the ultimate creative endeavor. Delving even deeper led me into systems thinking, quantum mechanics, and the study of sound and vibration -not that I fully understand any of it! Mandalas are visual reminders of universal truths: everything is connected and everything is integral to the whole.” She began leading collaborative art projects volunteering for the international organization Gather the Women. She has since founded the Many Hands Mandala Project, where she designs and facilitates projects for fundraisers and team-building. “Seeing the beauty we can create together is inspirational to me and gives me such hope for the future. No problem is insurmountable if we work together for the good of the


Cheryl Hunter is a bestselling author, speaker and high-performance expert. From educational institutions, to multi-national corporations, to working with individuals one-on-one, Cheryl’s expertise is in guiding her clients to architect a very specific game plan for their business and their life that produces dramatic results in a very short window of time. To that end, Cheryl has coached and led personal development seminars to over 89,000 people since 1995. Cheryl was drawn to her work as a result of her own life path; she overcame a traumatic, life-altering experience that ignited a strong desire to contribute to others. A frequent on-camera host, Cheryl is currently featured as the coaching expert in an AOL/Huffington Post series. The author of USE IT, Cheryl is also a contributing writer for several national publications. Recently, Cheryl was invited into Maria Shriver’s Brain Trust, a select group dedicated to bettering the lives of women. To contact Cheryl Hunter or to learn more, visit


Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, is a sociologist, sexuality speaker, and sex therapist, with a passion for challenging people to sexually think outside the box. She uses a mindfulness-based and strengths-based approach in her work and integrates a holistic perspective to get to the core of concerns. Dr. Jenn is a keynote speaker on topics including healthy relationships, love, mindfulness, erotic play, and happiness. She counsels individuals and couples, in person and over Skype, to create open communication and fulfilling intimacy. Dr. Jenn is a monthly contributing writer for Pacific San Diego Magazine and an intimacy expert on San Diego Livingand San Diego Fox 5 News. She sits on the Advisory Circle for the nonprofit Jeans 4 Justice and is a member of the Women Give San Diego donor’s circle. She has over 190 free videos on YouTube in her In the Den with Dr. Jenn video series. She just released an ebook, co-authored with a local OB/GYN, called “Am I Normal? A Woman’s Guide to Female Sexuality.” Dr. Jenn loves props and costumes. The most recent addition to her prop collection is a Vulva Puppet named Mulva. Mulva is going to have a lot to say about female sexuality.


Growing up in a military family, Sarita Maybin lived in many places, including 9 years in Germany. Moving frequently, she discovered at an early age the importance of adapting, staying positive and “playing nicely.” After earning a Masters degree in Counseling, Sarita went on to pursue a 13-year career in University Administration during which she worked at four state universities. Following her passion to help others constructively confront tough communication situations and work together better, Sarita made a career change in 1993. As a full-time professional speaker, she has spoken at conferences and companies in 49 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, England, Asia and Iceland. Sarita is a Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest Winner, a Past President of the National Speakers Association, San Diego Chapter and was voted a 2012 Top 5 Communication Speaker. She has also been interviewed by the media about her book “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?” When she isn’t speaking, traveling or writing articles, Sarita spends her time salsa dancing, participating in Zumba classes, being Mom to her young-adult daughter and serving on the Board of her local YMCA.


Karen Dobkins is a mother of three and a professor of Psychology at UC San Diego. Her research and the classes she teaches, focuses on the brain and how it develops in infancy. Teaching and inspiring young minds has always been her life dream. But it’s not just about teaching science. It’s about teaching the importance of being passionate about anything one sets her/his mind to. Based on this philosophy, Karen leads a workshop at UC San Diego called “empowering new scientists”, which is meant to give students the tools to navigate through a career in science wholeheartedly, authentically, taking full responsibility for their actions and decisions. Also in line with this philosophy, Karen teaches a fitness class at UC San Diego, which is a new practice called “IntenSati”. This powerful method – based on the principle that “what you think about, you bring about!” — combines high intensity aerobics with positive affirmations. To round things out, Karen loves music, playing guitar/keyboards on and off in San Diego bands. Her motto: I am available for more!


Dyana Valentine is not for the faint of heart. She’s spent 13+ years teaching leaders to listen to themselves and complete seemingly impossible projects—we’re talking major brand overhauls, six-figure product launches, full-fledged manuscripts. She serves up straight-from-the-hip advice in online magazines and columns all over the ‘net. In a past life, she was an idiot-savant microsurgery tech, worked for the Olympic Games organizing committee, and was personally approached by the FBI with a recruitment invitation—for classified reasons – on two separate occasions. She’s a firehose of ingenuity, a profoundly inspiring coach, and pretty easy on the eyes. You’re gonna love her brilliant insights on idea generation, intelligent project testing, and humane communication — and I promise, you’ll want to keep her in your arsenal of support, like a razor-sharp secret weapon.


Kathe Schaaf is passionate about the value of women’s wisdom as a tool for transforming our world. She is co-founder of Women of Spirit and Faith, organized in 2010 with the intention of exploring, nurturing and celebrating women’s spiritual leadership, where she currently serves on the leadership circle. She is also one of the co-founders of Gather the Women and has anchored numerous ‘collaborative conversations’ connecting women and women’s organizations internationally over the past ten years. Kathe is one of the editors of Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power, an anthology of women’s wisdom published by SkyLight Paths in November 2011. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, where she co-chairs the Women’s Task Force, and has been a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for the past five years. She is an artist and poet, a wife and mother, a daughter and sister.


Lauren Selman is the Founder of Reel Green Media. She is a producer, award winning director and environmental consultant. She has worked on live events including the Emmys, Olympics, ESPYs and Golden Globes. Her environmental work on Benjamin and Peter Bratt’s “La Mission,” earned an Environmental Media Award. She was recently named the People’s Choice and Miss Congeniality at the Miss Malibu USA pageant for running a completely eco-platform and was nominated for the LA Business Journal Woman Making a Difference. Lauren now leads sustainability and leadership workshops and shares her documentary “Greenlit,” which examines the environmental impact of entertainment, with colleges around the country. At 19, Lauren rode her bicycle nearly 4,400 miles across the United States with Habitat Bicycle Challenge and helped raise over $250,000 for Habitat for Humanity. She has been featured on NPR, The BBC, in Business Week, and The Hollywood Reporter. She is a Bay Area native and is an honors graduate from the University of California Berkeley, where she earned a bachelors of science in Conservation Resource Management and bachelors of arts in Theater Performance Studies.


Performance poet, playwright, acapella vocalist… Stacy Dyson has spent her life performing, singing, designing, and producing her way around the world of spoken word poetry. “The need, the drive is to maintain/create families, and make sure every woman learns how to use her voice to tell her truth. So, my passions and life center around that music…well, that and dark chocolate”. Poet Laureate for the Imagination Celebration in Colorado Springs, 2009 Nominee for Poet Laureate for the State of Colorado, 2000 Colorado Women’s Playwriting Festival winner for her play Fannie’s Girls:A 4-1-1 in 5-Part Attitude, she is the author of six chapbooks, four CDs, and does one-woman shows, workshops, and literary program design all over the country. She is a featured performer , as well as performance coach for So Say We All (San Diego), and co-founder/lead poet of Page to Stage: Women’s Words, a writing and performance poetry workshop. Based in San Diego, Stacy is preparing to tour with her fifth album (LOVE ME) SAN DIEGO STYLE, and working on her next CD.


Growing up the fifth of ten children, I thought I knew everything I needed to know to raise my own 4 sons. It didn’t take long to figure out I could use a little help. Taking my first parenting class helped me go from being a good parent to becoming a happy, confident parent. My personal success inspired me to become a parenting instructor and over 20 years later, I’m still at it. An African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Today, the old adage rings truer than ever. Parents, siblings, extended family, and community members all make up today’s modern village. Everyone makes an impact on a child. 95% of what children know is what is modeled to them by the adults in their lives. The biggest gift we can give future generations is teaching their parents and “village members” the tools to raise them with truth and respect. I believe that every child deserves an environment that honors & celebrates them. I try to provide this environment through my foundation, Indigo Village Educational Foundation. This is my passion and my life’s work.

Anita Sarkeesian

Media Critic, Researcher. Anita Sarkeesian is a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture, as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces. Anita lectures and presents at universities, conferences, and game development studios internationally. She has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Forbes, Wired, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and the New York Times. Her videos are freely available via the Feminist Frequency YouTube channel and widely serve as educational tools in high school and university classrooms. WHY ARE COMMENTS TURNED OFF? This talk comes from a woman who was targeted by an online hate campaign. Predictably, the same campaign has targeted this talk, so comments have been shut down. If you’d like to comment constructively on this video, please share on your own social networks.

Kate Clinton

Performer, Author Kate Clinton is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer. She is an author (three books), performer (nine CDs, three DVDs), columnist, film and stage actress, and TV commentator; and as a blogger, vlogger, and tweeter, she is multi-formatted to the max. With a career spanning thirty years, Kate Clinton has worked through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and eight presidential inaugurations. She still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime, scoundrel time, and economic down times.

Isatou Touray

Isatou Touray is a women’s rights activist and currently the Executive Director and Founder of GAMCOTRAP. She worked with the Management Development Institute, as the Deputy Director General, from 1990 to 2005, and founded the Gender and Management Unit of the Institute. She currently serves as the Secretary General of Inter-African Committee (IAC), a network of twenty-eight African countries working on issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) and gender-based violence. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Global Majority in the United States, promoting peace-building and good governance. Isatou is the winner of the One Hundred Heroines of the World on Human Rights by the Rochester Women’s Health Project at Rutgers University, and has been honored with The Gambia Women’s Bureau Award, the United States of America Woman of Courage Award 2008, and the Gambia News and Report Woman of the Year 2008. Her activism is focused on the fight against FGM and promotion of gender justice.

Organizing team


San Diego, CA, United States


Poway, CA, United States
  • Debbie Friedrich
    Visionary Art Director
  • Neda Shahidyazdani
    Speaker Coordinator
  • Jess Tran
    Project Manager
  • Jackie Lee
    TEDxAFC Co-Founder