x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
March 24, 2018
Washington, DC, District of Columbia
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Dupont Underground
19 Dupont Cir NW
Washington, DC, District of Columbia, 20036
United States
Event type:
Education (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

David Nurenberg

Dr. David Nurenberg is a high school English teacher, writer, educational consultant and core faculty professor at the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the recipient of the 1998-1999 Diane A. Rottenberg Davis Memorial Endowment Prize in Education, and the 2014 Harry S. Levitan Prize for Excellence and Leadership in Education, both from Brandeis University Over his 20 years as an educator David has developed and taught a wide variety of interdisciplinary humanities courses with strong project-based learning and social justice education components. Whether teaching high schoolers, undergraduates, graduate students or in-service teachers, David tries to practice the principles of student-centered, inquiry-based and service learning. He knows that people learn best when they have choice, when they can connect material to their own lives and their lived experience, and when they have a chance to create authentic products that let them take part in solving real-world problems. David’s published work has appeared in several prominent peer-reviewed journals including The Harvard Educational Review, NCTE’s English Education, American Secondary Education and High School Journal. David is Vice President of the Massachusetts-Hokkaido Association, and has coordinated ongoing sister-school exchanges with schools in Hokkaido, Japan since the early 2000s. He has also received several grants from the U.S. State Department to build and conduct educational exchanges between the USA and the former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan, and in 2010 led the first American delegation to meet with Turkmenistan’s National Institute of Education (NIE). More recently David founded and coordinates the G.L.O.B.E. (Global Learning Opportunities in Boston Area Education) Consortium, which brings Boston public school students together with their suburban counterparts, in association with MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, for interdisciplinary after-school courses in STEM/Green Technologies. The project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Both through Lesley University and independently, David consults with middle and secondary schools seeking to develop, improve and expand their work with student-centered pedagogy, inquiry and project-based learning, cooperative learning and more. You can visit his website at

Emily Turner

Emily Turner is the Director/Country Manager at Education for Sharing, a nonprofit that offers social-emotional learning programs for young people ages 6-14. Education for Sharing uses play-based and experiential learning to invite students to explore creative problem solving and active citizenship. Emily has led the development and expansion of the organization in the DC area since 2015. Emily’s work with Education for Sharing has been recognized by the Build a Bear Foundation and the Gannett Foundation. She is an active member of the DC Change Leaders Collaborative, World Bank Youth Summit, and Ashoka’s Changemaker ED. Emily is an ambitious social entrepreneur, innovator and educator working, in community, for grassroots social change. Emily’s specific interests as they relate to education are: equity in education, culturally responsive pedagogy, thriving public schools, trauma-informed learning environments, community-based schooling, closing the achievement gap, and girls’ and women's empowerment. Emily holds Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Colgate University with a focus on Applied Contexts and Intersectionalities of Identity. She is currently waiting to receive admissions decisions from law schools and will matriculate Fall 2018. Emily plans to pursue education law, working to increase equity in and access to excellent public schools.

Gregory Wimmer

Greg is a teacher at Central York High School.

Jeison Gonzalez

Jeison Gonzalez is a teacher of Spanish and English as foreign languages, native to Colombia and now living in the US. In nearly a decade in university and K12 classrooms, he has taught students of all ages, nationalities, and ability levels. This experience inspires his research, which focuses on lowering the barriers to language acquisition. He currently teaches middle school Spanish and is pursuing a doctorate in foreign language education. The desire to teach was born of Jeison's disappointment in his own schooling. As a kid, he loved English and taught it to himself, largely through American music and movies. At school, though, English class was uninspiring at best. So, he began to tutor some of his classmates, sparking their interest by making the language relevant to their daily lives. He has been studying and practicing education ever since. In a world obsessed with standardization and certification, Jeison takes a contrary stance: genuine personal growth is what matters most, and everyone achieves it in their own particular way. To guide their students, teachers need to maintain a passion for their subject, bring their authentic selves to class, and value their students' individuality. Despite the external pressures and obstacles, there are still things that individual teachers can to do improve education within their own classrooms. You can read Jeison's reflections on education and contact him at

Jim Grandy

Jim Grandy is a Teacher at Central York High School

Joseph Kaperst

Joseph Kaperst started and lead DC’s only Coder Dojo until 2016 to help create a lasting impact within the DC community. District Coder Dojo stems from his own struggle with learning programming. In 9th and 10th grade, while struggling in his programming classes, Joseph had a realization: “I knew that if I gave it my all and was still struggling, other kids were probably struggling, too. Joseph used his experiences struggling with programming to help craft the perfect mix of teaching methods. His lessons and programming examples are unique, and create a fun atmosphere around coding. His work in computer science education extends to the Bebras Computing Challenge, and international computing and informatics challenge. Joseph is the USA Support Team for the organization, and works with team members in the Netherlands to craft tasks for the challenge. Outside of his work in education, Joseph is a sophomore at Stanford studying a variety of topics. He is interested in data science, cyber security, and cyber policy. He serves as a Research Assistant to Dr. Andrew Grotto, William J. Perry International Security Fellow at CISAC. There, he supports research initiatives on a range of cyber and technology policy topics relating to U.S. national security, including the allocation of responsibilities between non-government and government actors for defending against cyber threats, domestic and international regulatory regimes for cybersecurity and privacy, and offensive cyber and information operations.

Julie Marshall

Dr. Julie Marshall is a change agent. She serves as a 7th Grade Language Arts teacher at Saluda Trail Middle School and an Adjunct in the Richard Riley College of Education at Winthrop University, both located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. With over 26 years of classroom experience at the elementary/middle school levels in conjunction with 8 years at the university level, Julie has won many awards for exemplary teaching on the state and national level. These include selection as a National Teacher of Excellence, being tapped as a Global Teaching Fellow, and recognition for “Making a Difference” by the Association of Middle Level Educators. Julie helped develop a certificate endorsement for South Carolina teachers of students from poverty and actively helped shape policy and practice in her state. As legislative chair for The SCEA she testified before the South Carolina Senate Education Committee, advocating for equity in our public schools. An avid grant writer, she has received numerous grants for programs /projects benefiting children from poverty with the hope of “leveling the playing field”. She has devoted an entire career to serving this population and her work has carried over in to the community. Under her leadership, Dr. Marshall’s class was awarded the 2016 Hero of the Heart Award by the local chapter of the American Heart Association and later the Hometown Hero Award by a local CBS news affiliate. Julie is a National Board Certified teacher and evaluator. Currently teaching in a STEAM/P21 exemplar school she is a strong proponent and practitioner of Project Based/Active Learning Environments. She was one of the inaugural recipients of the Steelcase Active Learning Center Grant, which has also afforded her opportunities to provide local, state and national professional development. She has published blogs for Getting Smart, THE Journal and others on active learning. Her action research encourages teachers to re-discover their passion for teaching. She challenges them to design and configure learning spaces to better meet the needs of individual learners. Her data reinforces the positive impact learning environments can have on student motivation and academic achievement. Julie has served as a keynote speaker at conferences and convocations. Her passion and enthusiasm inspires audiences in both the education and business world. As fulfilling as Julie’s work seems, her most meaningful experience was becoming a double organ transplant recipient 3 years ago. She now takes every opportunity to promote organ donation awareness and express gratitude to all who are a part of the national registry.

Kelly McCarthy

Kelly McCarthy is an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow serving at the National Science Foundation in the Geosciences Directorate, Office of the Assistant Director. Her role allows her to focus on education and diversity programs in the geosciences and to gain new perspective as a K-12 educator. With nine years of combined experience in education, McCarthy has taught secondary math and science in both public and parochial schools as well as at the community college level. Outside of the formal classroom she has developed and facilitated a series of afterschool and summer STEM programs for students in grades 4-12. As a Notre Dame STEM Trustey Teacher Fellow, McCarthy was part of a school-based teacher leader team working with colleagues across the country to implement strategies to increase student interest and engagement in STEM disciplines with a focus on equity and access at the middle school level. She collaborated with fellow educators at a 2017 Google Hackathon for Geo-Education Tools and has presented at numerous conferences including the 2017 NSTA National Conference and the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. McCarthy recognizes the power of leveraging professional development opportunities to connect students with real-world applications and to cultivate a love for learning and exploration in her students. As a 2016 PolarTREC Teacher, McCarthy worked with NASA’s Operation IceBridge in Greenland, while communicating with students from the field and developing polar science curricular materials. Most recently, she had the opportunity to embark on an expedition to Antarctica as a 2017 National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow and continues to work with the National Geographic Education Framework to educate students and community members about some of the most sensitive regions of the planet.

Porsha Childs

Dr. Porsha Childs is Director of Programs at The Fishing School. She joined The Fishing School in May 2015 and brings to TFS a broad set of experiences from her time teaching abroad, in high-risk areas, with adjudicated youth, and adult learners. With over 15 years of classroom experience, she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of students and student needs, and she is passionate about continuing to strive to improve outcomes for students from underserved and underrepresented communities. In her program management work, Dr. Childs has designed, coordinated, and implemented more than a dozen cocurricular and experiential learning programs, using institutional data and engaging student advocates. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (International Education Policy) and Masters degrees from Columbia University Teacher's College (Applied Linguistics) and Mercy College (Urban Education).

Simon Tam

Simon Tam is an author, musician, entrepreneur, and activist. He is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. His work in the arts has been highlighted in over 3,000 media features across 200 countries including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, BBC, NPR, TIME Magazine, and Rolling Stone. He was named a champion of diverse issues by the White House and worked with President Barack Obama's campaign to fight bullying. He recently helped expand freedom of speech through winning a unanimous victory at the Supreme Court of the United States for a landmark case in constitutional and trademark law (Matal v. Tam). Simon has been a keynote speaker, performer ,and presenter at TEDx, SXSW, Comic-Con, The Department of Defense, Stanford University, and over 1,200 events across North America, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared on the TEDx stage over a dozen times. He designed one of the first college-accredited social media programs in the United States. Bloomberg Businessweek called him a "Social Media Rockstar." Forbes says his resume is a "paragon of completeness." Recently, he was recognized as a Freedom Fighter by the Roosevelt Rough Writers, named Citizen of the Year from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Portland Lodge, Portland Rising Star from the Light a Fire Awards, received a Distinguished Alum Award from Marylhurst University, and he Mark T. Banner award from the American Bar Association. You can find Simon's appearances, writing, and current projects at

Wes Ward

Wes Ward is a teacher at Central York High School

Organizing team




  • Emily Kaperst
    Team member
  • Joseph Kaperst
    Team member
  • Nouriel Leichter
    Team member
  • Thomas Fratantoni
    Team member