x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Defying Borders

This event occurred on
September 28, 2013
10:00am - 6:00pm MDT
(UTC -6hrs)
El Paso, TX
United States

El Paso is on the US-Mexico border, across from our neighbor, Ciudad Juarez. Our theme, "Defying Borders," means what it says. It means challenging borders. Challenging boundaries. Challenging limits. Large and small. Physical and intangible. Permanent and temporary.

El Paso Community Foundation/Foundation Room
333 North Oregon Street
El Paso, TX, 79901
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Rosa Guerrero

Rosa Ramirez Guerrero of El Paso, Texas, is an artist, educator, dance historian, and humanitarian. Her efforts have enhanced her commitment in promoting cultural awareness around the United States. Mrs. Guerrero was the first of seven children in her family to graduate and earn her BA and MA from the University of Texas at El Paso. Mrs. Guerrero founded and became the artistic director of the International Folklorico Dance Group. Her film “Tapestry,” based upon creating cultural harmony and understanding, was honored with a national award for documentary filmmaking. She was the first living Hispanic woman in El Paso to have a school, Rosa Guerrero Elementary, named in her honor. Rosa Guerrero has been called “a tapestry of many cultures whose mission is to share this tapestry of cultural diversity, and how it is woven, with all people.” She continues her mission of love, peace, and cultural understanding to this day.

Dr. Rodrigo Ceballos

Rodrigo Ceballos, MD is a physician and acupuncturist who serves as the Integrative Modalities Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center (IPMC) at Fort Bliss. The IPMC offers active duty soldiers conventional pain management options along with several Integrative Medicine modalities such as chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic yoga, mindfulness based stress reduction and biofeedback. The IPMC concept was initiated by the Office of the Army Surgeon General as part of the coordinated campaign of the Pain Management Task Force.

Dr. Vipool Patel

Vipool R. Patel, M.D. Dr. Patel received his medical education from India. He completed medical residency and cardiology fellowship at St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Louis and University of Missouri-Columbia, followed by interventional cardiology fellowship at UT San Antonio, Texas. He has been in private cardiology practice with El Paso Cardiology Associates since 1997. He has participated in several hospital committees over the years and co-founded El Paso Cardiac and Endovascular Center.

Carlos Marentes

Carlos Marentes has been a labor organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. In 1983, he founded Sin Fronteras Organizing Project to support efforts to improve the working and living conditions of the migrant and seasonal farm workers of Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas. Marentes is also the founder and director of the Border Agricultural Workers Project, an effort to organize the farm workers of the US-Mexico border, especially the chile pickers, in the fields and in their communities in both sides of the border. Under the BAWP, Marentes initiated a campaign in the border region for food sovereignty to address the issues of oppression of farm workers and the climate crisis, as a way of promoting a new model of food production and food consumption. Marentes has received extensive recognition and many awards, including the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt National Human Rights Award. More recently he was nominated to receive the Option for the Poor Bishop Mark Seits Award by the El Paso Catholic Diocese.

Becky Hendrick

Artist, writer, and educator Becky Hendrick has recently retired from the art faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her paintings are in numerous private, corporate, and museum collections, including the El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso Holocaust Museum, New Mexico State University, Meridian Museum of Art, and the Mississippi Museum of Art. She has authored several books on art and the creative process and has been a frequent contributor of arts criticism to regional and national arts periodicals. In addition to her creative work, Hendrick serves as host of the Border Art Residency, founded by her husband, sculptor Willie Ray Parish, on their property in La Union, New Mexico. She and Parish divide their time between La Union and Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.

Dr. Juan Ferret

Juan Ferret, Executive Director of the Philosophic Systems Institute (psi), received his PhD in philosophy of physics at the University of Oregon after getting bachelor degrees in philosophy, mathematics, and physics from Gonzaga University. He now works on the problem of time and motion in metaphysics informed by the advances in quantum field theory, general relativity, and quantum gravity. Juan also investigates the nature of time from different philosophic perspectives, from the Ancient Greeks to the classical Maya. He is the founder of psi and lead developer of the Love of Wisdom Project, which aims to introduce art, logic, scientific reasoning, and interdisciplinary critical inquiry in the K-12 after-school curriculum in collaboration with local schools, universities, and community organizations.

Dr. Bill Robertson (Dr. Skateboard)

Bill Robertson, Ph.D. is currently an Associate Professor in the Teacher Education Department in the College of Education and an Associate Provost for Academic Technologies at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). As an Associate Professor, his academic areas of expertise are in science education, curriculum development and technology integration in the K-12 levels. Bill was a recipient of the 2009 University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award and in 2008, he was selected as a Fulbright US Scholar and worked in Santiago, Chile. A long time participant and performer in skateboarding with over 35 years in the sport, he has developed Dr. Skateboard's Action Science (http://www.drskateboard.com), which addresses physical science concepts for middle school students utilizing skateboarding and bicycle motocross (BMX).

Peter Svarzbein

Peter Svarzbein is an artist, urban interventionist, curator and disruptive media specialist. A recipient of Photo District News' Merit Award and graduate of the renowned Eddie Adams Photojournalism Workshop, Svarzbein earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Svarzbein has exhibited work both nationally and internationally including a video installation in the Guggenheim’s “Still-Spotting NYC” exhibition, at UTEP’s Rubin Gallery in a bi-national exhibition “El Flow” and in the “Puro Border” exhibition at the INBA Museum of Fine Art in Cd. Juarez, Mex. His most recent installation "Conversos Y Tacos Kosher Gourmet Trucks est. 1492" was funded thru the City of El Paso's Artist Incubator Grant and featured on NPR's "Here and Now". Partial client list includes: Fortune Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, Cornell University, Jet Blue, Panasonic, New York Times, Heeb Magazine, People Magazine, and the Advocate.

Dr. Richard Pineda

Richard D. Pineda (PhD - Wayne State University) is a native El Pasoan who returned home ten years ago to join the faculty at The University of Texas at El Paso. Pineda is Director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies and a tenured, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication. Dr. Pineda's research examines the rhetorical dimensions of media, politics, and ethnic identity in the United States. In addition to his academic research, Pineda is fascinated with El Paso history and contemporary local politics.

Dr. Vince Gutschick

Vincent P. Gutschick is a Chicago-born husband, father, and scientist who decided to become a chemist at age 8…which he did, via a B.S. from Notre Dame (’66) and a Ph. D. from Caltech (‘71/’72). Migrating in his career through Berkeley, Yale, Los Alamos labs, and NMSU, he retired early in 2008 to start a small scientific consulting firm, and, mostly, to help his wife, Dr. Lou Ellen Kay (Ph. D., Biology, CUNY, ’84) start and run a novel non-profit, independent, non-sectarian school, the Las Cruces Academy. Vince and Lou Ellen’s son, David, another Caltech grad (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, ’08) joined the effort and helps from Ohio State University – it’s a family passion…now shared with many parents and students.

Sheriff Richard Wiles

Sheriff Richard D. Wiles was raised and educated in El Paso, graduating from Andress High School in 1979. Sheriff Wiles joined the El Paso Police Department in 1982 and rose quickly to leadership positions serving as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief, Interim Chief of Police, and was appointed Chief of Police in 2004. In December of 2007, Sheriff Wiles retired from the Police Department to run for El Paso County Sheriff and after being elected, took office in January of 2009.

Carlos Gallinar

Carlos Gallinar, AICP, CNU-A, serves as the planning director for the City of El Paso. His past experiences include affordable housing development, neighborhood redevelopment, and international philanthropic work. He is also a lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso's College of Health Sciences. He holds a Master's Degree from Rutgers University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Rich Wright

Richard Wright is a lifelong El Pasoan. From 1992 till 2003, he owned Wildhare's Booze & Adventure on North Mesa on El Paso's lower west side. In the ten years since he quit the bar business, he's worked as a writer and marketing professional.

Monica Lozano

Monica Lozano is a Mexican American photographer born in El Paso, Texas and raised across the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Her work is inspired by real stories of people's courage, determination and strength, particularly those who have lived difficult experiences in border towns throughout the world. Following a BA in Visual Arts from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon in Monterrey, Mexico, she worked as a graphic artist and commercial photographer for CBS Television. In 2009, Lozano received her Masters Degree in Photography from TAI Escuela Superior de Artes y Espectáculos in Madrid, Spain where she produced Borders, a series selected for various international photo competitions and grants including the Air Dolomiti (Lufthansa) prize at the International Talent Support competition in Trieste, Italy and in Hyeres International Photography Competition in Hyeres, France. In 2011, Lozano finished the Photo Global residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York on a presidential scholarship. Lozano's elegant and socially charged portraits have been exhibited in Italy, Spain, Germany, Mexico and the United States. Lozano has been featured under the “One To Watch” article in American Photo Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review selected her for the “20 Women to Watch” list. Lozano also collaborated with 2011 TED Award winner JR and his Inside Out Project in Mexico.

Benjamin Alire Saenz

Benjamin Alire Saenz is an artist, poet, novelist, and author of children’s books. He has penned five books of poetry, four novels, four young adult novels, and four children’s books. His most recent collection of short stories, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club won the PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Lambda Literary Award. His latest Young Adult novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, was the winner of the Pura Belpre Award, The Stonewall Award, The Lambda Literary Award and is a Printz Honor Book. He has a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and is currently the chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Jim Ward

Fifth Generation El Pasoan. Recorded and toured with At the Drive-In, Sparta, Sleepercar as well as solo. Part owner of several El Paso businesses including Tricky Falls/Bowie Feathers, Hello Day Cafe, Eloise and Tembloroso Creative Lab.

Omar Villalobos

Omar Villalobos is about counterculture. He is a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Controversial, irreverent, unpredictable, revolutionary. Socially purposeful freedom. Passionate knowledge. Insatiable autodidact. He is considered as one of the most influential people in Latin America on human development. Lecturer, poet, writer, film director, producer, relentless dreamer.

Organizing team


El Paso, TX, United States


El Paso, TX, United States
  • Eric Pearson
    Audio & Video Recording, Sponsorship
  • Kate Gannon
    Branding & Marketing, Audience
  • Julie Tarwater
    Branding & Marketing, Audience
  • Jeanne Foskett
    Sponsorship, Theme & Speakers
  • Iyali Lara
    Theme & Speakers
  • Maggie Sánchez-Mercado
  • Eli Velasquez
    Theme & Speakers
  • Chris Kohlbrenner
    Audience & Participation, Chair
  • Creative Kids
    Stage Design
  • Michelle Cummings
    Theme & Speakers
  • Katherine Brennand
  • Pedro Diaz
    Theme & Speakers
  • Paulina Lopez
    Theme & Speakers, Branding & Marketing
  • Alex Guerra
    Graphic Design
  • Michelle Savage
    Admin & Stage
  • Tyler Savage
    Admin & Stage