x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Challenges

This event occurred on
September 10, 2016
1:00pm - 5:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Lafayette, Louisiana
United States

TEDxVermilionStreet 2016 | Challenges showcases innovative and creative ideas that strive to address complex challenges on personal, local, and global scales.

This years event featured a diverse line-up of 12 speakers. Topics addressed multiple social, personal, and global challenges. This diverse breath of topics included sexual pleasure, accessibility, stigmatization of HIV, urban agriculture, life with autism, refugee experiences, sexual violence, OCD, criminal justice reform, child poverty, teen invisibility, and the challenge of just being comfortable in one's own skin.

Please feel free to check out our speaker videos on our YouTube Channel:
or see photos of our event on Flickr:

Acadiana Center for the Arts
101 W Vermilion Street
Lafayette, Louisiana, 70506
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anne Swanson

Anne Swanson’s mission in life is to connect good people with each other. Professionally, she does this by working as a college recruiter at a technology company. She also serves as their Lafayette corporate social responsibility chair. In 2015, she won a prestigious “Bridge Builder” award for helping engage her company’s members in civic causes. Anne is a member of the705, where she is a participant of their I-49 Task Force as well as their mentor program. She is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXII. For the past year, she has served as the Leadership Institute of Acadiana’s communication’s chair. In 2001, she earned her public relations degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In her personal time, she loves trying to figure out the meaning of life with her husband Rick, spending quality time with her family and friends, and playing with her two dogs - Summer and Flash.

Arik Hartmann

Raised in Arizona, Arik Hartmann is a 24 year old Senior in Resource Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. He currently assists in wetland ecology research, working as a student contractor at the USGS National Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center in Lafayette. Arik has been HIV positive for two years and has presented on HIV/AIDS awareness and history to student organizations. The goal of his HIV transparency is to reduce the stigma that surrounds those infected and dispel misconceptions about the virus. After graduating next spring, Arik plans to pursue a Master's Degree in Conservation Biology.

David Huynh

Actor and Model
David Huynh is a NYC-based actor and model. He was last seen at the Houston Shakespeare Festival as Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing and the Dauphin in Henry V. Other productions include: Cymbeline (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). NY Theater: Romeo and Juliet. In the fall, he will be returning to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for their tour. He has appeared in promotional materials across a range of industries, the most recent being the advertising campaign for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collaboration with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. He has received a Master’s Degree in Acting from the University of Houston. See more at He thanks Katie and Maggie for their continual love and support.

John Newman

John is a Pastor and the founder and president of New Hope Community Development of Acadiana, a faith based initiative that works with children and their families in an under-resourced neighborhood in Lafayette, Louisiana. New Hope provides after school tutoring and summer programming for more than 40 at-risk children in the Azalea Park neighborhood. Prior to founding New Hope, John served as a Pastor for more than 20 years. Most recently, John served as an Associate Pastor at Trinity Bible Church in Lafayette, LA. John has been married to Kristine for 31 years. Together, they have five children.

Kate Lacour

Art Therapist
Kate Lacour is a board-certified art therapist who has been instructing those with autism in the arts since 2003. She has studied and practiced Applied Behavior Analysis. With music specialist Sarah Ambrose, she co-founded NOLArts Learning Center, a nonprofit special needs arts center in New Orleans.

Liam Doyle

Liam Doyle is a 27 year old college student, advocate, and exhibit guide at the Lafayette Science Museum. Currently seeking a degree in history, he hopes to one day teach and share his knowledge and perspective with others. Additionally, he serves as the current chair of the Lafayette Consolidated Government Citizens with Disabilities Awareness Committee, where he works with community members as well as city and state government officials to improve Lafayette for its disabled citizens.

Marcus Descant

From an early age Marcus has always admired the exquisite designs in nature, and questioned the industrialized settings for growing crops. This is obvious in his designs, emulating the curves we see in nature both for beauty and efficiency. He admires ecosystems as complex machines composed of thousands of components and made up of many organisms. In 2011 he started his current business "Urban Naturalist", to explore a new approach to agriculture. One where we recognize urban spaces as our most recent ecosystem, filled with resources and setbacks, just like any other ecosystem. He began melding agriculture and ornamental landscape practices to create a hybrid which strives for a utilitopian middle ground. His work can be seen in both public and private spaces, each one uniquely designed for purpose and comfort while utilizing light and space as efficiently as possible.

Marie Collins

Manager/ Acadiana Recovery Center
Marie L. Collins, LPC, LMFT, LAC, is the Treatment Programs Manager for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office. Since she began working there in 2006, she has played an integral part in assessing, analyzing, and improving the treatment programs for both the offender and general population of Acadiana. In collaboration with other Sheriff's office personnel and key community stakeholders, Marie has helped to increase programs and services while successfully decreasing recidivism. She earned a Master in Counseling from Louisiana State University in 2003 and has worked in treatment facilities for over 15 years.

Nadia Khansa

Nadia Khansa is a Lebanese-American college senior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette majoring in psychology with a minor in English. She is involved in AmeriCorps, her University's chapter of V-Day, a global-movement to end violence against women and girls, and she actively works for the advancement of women and minorities in society.

Pat Muller

Pat Muller is a charismatic life coach, speaker, wife, friend, mom, and mentor committed to encouraging the positive transformation of the lives of others. She is an entrepreneur with experience as a business consultant, computer consultant and communications coach. She also brings 20-plus years of leadership roles in customer care, IT, sales and customer retention for Fortune 150 companies. Pat recently branched out into what she is calling her life’s work by purchasing a quaint fishing lodge in Central Texas, which she will evolve into a conference center to host retreats, workshops, weddings, reunions and other celebrations. Her coaching mantra is Be kind... Be true... Be YOU!

Roy Petitfils

Roy Petitfils, LPC, has worked with teens for over 20 years as a minister, teacher, administrator, school counselor and now as a therapist in private practice. He’s published four books, including, “What Teens Want You To Know (But Don’t Tell You).” His blue collar roots, natural humor, contagious enthusiasm and diverse background have made him an internationally sought after presenter for both teen and adult audiences. Roy lives with his wife of 14 years, Mindi, and their two sons Max and Ben in Youngsville, Louisiana.

Tiffany Anton

Sex and Relationship Therapist
Tiffany Anton earned her Master of Social Work Degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2000. She completed extensive training in sexual therapy at Loyola University Sexual Dysfunction Clinic and has continued advancing her training in the field. Practicing for over 15 years, Tiffany’s passion is to help people who find themselves in relational and individual sexual challenges in areas covering libido, arousal, erectile dysfunction, vulvar pain disorders, sexless marriages and more. She is the co-creator of “Sex and the Therapist Couch: Helping psychotherapist’s increase their comfort and understanding in handling the hot topic of sex in their office.” Her mission is to provide expert services with compassion and empowerment in a personalized, confidential and ethical manner. Tiffany prides herself as a mother, wife, friend, horse lover, social activist and community advocate.

Organizing team


Lafayette, LA, United States