x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Kids Are Not Alright

This event occurred on
March 26, 2016
Asheville, North Carolina
United States

Millennials are told that they are both responsible for fixing our planet and that they can't do anything because they're glued to their cellphones all the time. With this event, we are hoping to change the reputation that our millennials have and inspire hope not only in them, but in other generations as well.

Humanities Lecture Hall
2500 University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, North Carolina
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Brittany Privott

UNCA Admissions Counselor
Brittany is an Admissions Counselor at UNC Asheville and has been here for about 3 years. She currently recruits future UNCA students from the Charlotte area, which is where she is from. Brittany also works with diversity programs like JUNTOS, GEAR UP, and AVID to help increase the college going population in NC and strengthen the relationship between local schools and UNCA. Before coming to UNC Asheville, she attended East Carolina University where she majored in Sociology with a concentration in Social Diversity. It was in college that Brittany developed a passion for equal access for a quality education for all students in North Carolina and beyond.

Gabby Porcaro

UNCA Student Affairs Case Manager
Originally from Rhode Island, Gabby has been a member of the UNC Asheville community since summer 2015 and serves as the Student Affairs Case Manager. Gabby received her bachelor's in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and her master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Virginia Tech. Gabby began her career in Higher Education working in the Student Success Center at Virginia Tech while completing her master's and has served in various roles at George Mason University, the University of Virginia, and Cornell University throughout her career. Gabby’s largest personal and professional goal includes challenging systemic oppressive cultural norms and policies that create inequitable learning environments for students within higher education.

Hailey Johnston

UNCA Ambassador
Hailey is a Sophomore at the University of North Carolina- Asheville and is a double major in Psychology and Political Science and a double minor in Spanish and International Studies, an Admissions Ambassador, and a member of the Freshman Orientation Blue Crew. She is the oldest of six children, a survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage 2B cancer, and founder of a charity called ESCAPE for teenagers and young adults battling cancer. She is an ambassador on the North Carolina Council for Women, a Youth Legislative Assembly Alumni where she assisted in writing legislation on the implementation of school nurses in charter schools and wrote legislation on having home-bound educators for public and charter schools in every school district across North Carolina. Additionally, she was a member of the Leadership Institute in high school, participated in the Triangle Youth Leadership Conference for two years at North Carolina State University, and interned at the Michigan State University Law and

Jazz Cathcart

Pastor and Youth Outreach Advocate
Jazz first discovered a passion for shaping and impacting students as a summer camp counselor at a local YMCA at the age of 16. After graduating college he began working with at-risk youth in government housing in Asheville, North Carolina where he became the Director of the I Have a Dream Foundation, an inner city youth mentoring program and also an associate pastor with Highland Christian Church in downtown. Jazz’s vocational experience, time in foster care as a child, and subsequent upbringing in a single parent home has significantly informed his conviction that perhaps the deepest community transformation to be had is found where citizens and families, the educational system, community enrichment organizations, and the faith community holistically intersect. Jazz earned a master's degree from Liberty University Theological Seminary and in addition to directing the Urban Mentoring Academy, he serves as one of the founding pastors at Reach Life Church in downtown Asheville.

Jesse Goldman

Slacklining + mindfulness
Jesse Goldman is a graduating senior at UNC Asheville with a major in Political Science and a minor in Africana Studies. He founded UNCA’s student-led Mindfulness Club at the end of his freshman year, and later founded his own instructional slackline & mindfulness company. Over the past three years Jesse has taught workshops at over twenty events across the country, created & facilitated a 12-week slackline & mindfulness after-school program, and participated in a grant project sponsored by the NC Center for Health & Wellness to bring week-long slackline workshops into Asheville Middle School gym classes.

Michael Ruiz

UNCA Professor of Physics (Ph.D)
Michael Ruiz has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Maryland (1978) and is Professor of Physics at UNC Asheville. He is a pianist who has studied with Stewart Gordon (classical) and Ron Elliston (jazz) at the University of MD in the 1970s. Ruiz is a composer of three piano concertos performed by the Winston-Salem Symphony, with each of his three children as soloists. He has been featured on CNN for developing innovative interactive multimedia e-texts in higher education. Ruiz is the 2004 UNC Asheville recipient of the UNC Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Rachel Simpson

Fermentation Scientist at Burial Beer Company
A lover of organisms and beer, Rachel works as a fermentation scientist at Burial Beer Company, a local microbrewery that specializes in pushing boundaries in beer brewing and views their craft as an intense art and science. Rachel specializes in the yeast cell, and is fascinated with what this microorganism can accomplish and produce in even the toughest environments. She's spent her time studying the patterns of various brewing strains and their life cycle, as well as capturing, growing, and observing wild strains and determining if they are suitable for brewing. She enjoys the challenge of capturing yeast cells and the art that comes with identifying what flavors these strains produce when put in a heavily sweetened, anaerobic environment.

Todd Okolichany

Director of Planning & Urban Design for the City of Asheville
Todd serves as the Director of Planning & Urban Design for the City of Asheville where he is responsible for managing sustainable growth and development, shaping the built environment, and promoting quality of life for Asheville’s diverse community and for future generations through creative thinking, sound civic planning and urban design solutions. Prior to joining the City, he acted as the Principal Planner for the City of Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he was responsible for managing the city’s long-range planning program. Todd previously worked as a Senior Planner for BFJ Planning in New York City, where he received a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute.

Organizing team


Asheville, NC, United States


Asheville, NC, United States
  • Avery Riggs
  • Catherine Wityk
  • Jacob Morgan
  • John Armstrong
  • Lauren Tapp
  • Maddie Pesce
  • n t
  • Nikki Madle
  • Taylor Beyrer