x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
March 3, 2018
Bellingham, Washington
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).

516 High Street
Bellingham, Washington, 98225
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alex Straus

Alex Straus is a senior at Western Washington University. He is studying early childhood education and at the end of March will be the second male in the history of the program to graduate. Alex started his career in early childhood education working under two incredible male preschool teachers, who inspired him to continue his education to become a teacher. For the last six and a half years, Alex has been involved in early childhood education through a variety of positions. Currently he is student teaching in a kindergarten classroom in Bellingham. On the weekends, he is working as a Play Host at Perch and Play, a café with an indoor playground in downtown Bellingham. Between his student teaching, perch and play, and taking care of his 10 month old daughter, childcare isn’t a job but a lifestyle. Through all this experience, Alex noticed there aren’t many men working with children, and there can be a significant impact if more men joined the field.

Aleyda Cervantes

Aleyda has been obsessed with belonging since her senior year of high school. Trying to find a place where all the different parts of herself fit together she began writing, hoping to find a place of her own. She realized it is in her art where she feels at home and decided to create a space to open the doors to welcome others who are also creating, transforming and always dreaming. She graduated from Western in June 2017 and throughout her undergrad she collectively worked with different communities to fight the different systems of oppression harming communities of color. She’s currently trying to write and dream a little more.

Alia Taqieddin

Alia is a second-generation Arab American, and a senior at WWU. She is a student of Community Health, and is currently completing an interdisciplinary concentration in Arab Diaspora Studies and Human Rights. Between September 2016 and June 2017, she lived and worked in central Athens alongside an international community during what has come to be known as the European Refugee Crisis. In the Spring of 2018, she will be teaching a Fairhaven course entitled “The Syrian Refugee Crisis” to continue exploring our communities’ roles in building safer systems for asylum seekers, as well as to understand how to support sustainable governmental policies that allow for the eventual return home.

Brandi Kubat-Snow

Brandi is currently a Future Ready Learning Coach at Central Kitsap School District in Silverdale, WA. She supports teachers and staff with the integration of blended learning and harnessing tech tools in classrooms through job-embedded coaching and professional learning opportunities. Brandi is a proud classroom teacher. For six years she taught middle school Special Education and spent five years teaching English/Language Arts and Social Studies to 5th and 6th graders. She is also National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts and in 2013, Brandi received the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Innovative Educator award. In addition to creating inspiring learning experiences, Brandi is working on her Master's Degree through WWU in Educational Leadership and Administration and is projected to graduate in the spring of 2018.

Daman Wandke

Daman Wandke, MBA, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AbiliTrek. He is also an accessibility technology consultant and national disability advocate. Daman is an avid traveler; traveling for both business and pleasure. He started AbiliTrek because travelers with disabilities need to be able to travel without having to worry about whether or not their destination will be accessible. Daman set out to find a solution; hence, the birth of AbiliTrek. AbiliTrek’s goal is to empower the disability community with the ability to trek without boundaries. Before working on AbiliTrek full time, he was an Accessibility Analyst at SSB BART Group, an IT accessibility consulting firm, where he performed audits of their clients’ websites, mobile applications, and other IT products. He currently serves on two nonprofit Boards of Directors, the Northwest Access Fund and PolicyWorks. Daman brings his technology and business knowledge with his first-hand experience traveling with a disability.

Giovanni Segar

Giovanni is the Mobile Marketing Manager for Faithlife, a mid sized software company in Bellingham. Gio has a diverse set of interests including weightlifting, ice skating, public speaking, marketing, entrepreneurship, team sports, traveling, writing, and fashion. At the age of 18, Gio started a public speaking advice blog called Potent Speaking in his spare time and has written nearly 100 articles on the topic. He has managed to make it into a profitable side business through paid coaching gigs, and the website gets thousands of visitors each month.

Jacob Johnson

Jacob Johnson has worked for Skagit 911 for nearly nine years. He is currently a Lead Dispatcher, and has also worked as a police dispatcher and fire dispatcher. Jacob has received numerous commendations and awards for his work on high priority incidents. One of these incidents was the Cascade Mall Shooting in 2016. He was the on duty as Lead Dispatcher three months later when a Mount Vernon police officer was shot. Jacob’s extensive experience has helped develop many of the communication center’s policies and procedures for high priority incidents in Skagit County. Jacob has worked in public safety and high stress environments for many years. He was previously a volunteer fire fighter for Whatcom County Fire District 8 and served on board two United States Navy submarines. In addition to his community service, Jacob earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in Political Science and Economics.

Karen Leung

Karen Leung is currently in her second year in Woodring’s Early Childhood Education at Western Washington University. Through her involvement in this program, she has found that her passion lies in social justice and linguistics, and the overlap that exists between these two in bilingual education. Being in Woodring allows her to apply her passions to her teaching career, and gives her the opportunity to break down language barriers in education. Growing up as a native Cantonese speaker, Karen took ESL classes in school, all the while interpreting for her parents during teacher conferences at just seven years old. Through this experience, she realized that there is a need of increased awareness of the linguistic biases in our society and the need for more resources for immigrant families who are working in tandem with schools to provide the best possible education for their children. Karen also sees the potential of linguistic diversity in education, and believes that it is crucial for multicultural education. Karen's dream is to open a bilingual, Cantonese-English early childhood learning center, incorporating her knowledge in childhood development and multilingualism.

Kristina Turner

Kristina Turner is a married mother to Ori and their two siblings. She is also a licensed massage therapist, a writer and a homeschooling mom. Kristina and her husband have been married 14 years and live in the Pacific Northwest. Their three children were born here in Bellingham at the Bellingham Birth Center. She and her family have also lived in British Columbia for over four years and just moved back about a year ago. They have a deep fondness for Bellingham and its community.

Megan Russell

Megan Russell is a senior at Western Washington University. At 19, she is the first woman in her family to earn a college degree. She is majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis as well as minoring in anthropology. Megan is currently an intern for a vegan beauty company that emphasizes natural beauty and wholesome ingredients. Her plans for after graduation include media management, as all as creating content for brands and companies. She believes storytelling and writing can change lives and she imagines a future where every single girl is encouraged to follow their dreams through education. When she isn’t attending classes (or working) you can find Megan listening to 1980’s synth pop, running, and reading anything she can get her hands on.

Ori Turner

Ori Turner is ten years old and is Kristina Turner’s middle child. Ori has an intersex condition which has led them to transition genders. They are currently using gender neutral pronouns (per their request) Ori has a fondness for the How to Train Your Dragon Series and American Girl dolls. They are in 5 th grade and homeschool as well as attending some classes at the Bellingham Family Partnership Program.

Samantha Cook

Samantha Cook is a 5th year undergrad at Western Washington University. She is pursuing a major in Kinesiology and two minors in International Studies and Sport Psychology. She is a member of the International Justice Mission at WWU and has been advocating for awareness of sex and human trafficking since she first heard of it seven years ago. She has been engrossed in sports, and learning everything about them since she started playing soccer when she was 5 years old. She will stop everything to watch the World Cup or the Olympics. Besides the entire excitement involved in Sporting events, she loves learning about the civil rights, sociology, and psychology involved with athletes and sports.

Vicky Matey

Victoria Matey Mendoza is an Undocumented student leader challenging systems to create a more just and inclusive space for undocumented students. She has devoted her time to helping create resources for undocumented students on and off campus. She was apart of the driving force behind Keep Bellingham Families Working campaign under Community to Community Development. Currently she is finishing her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration while working part time and continuously doing workshops on Western's campus and throughout the state. The work she has started with the Blue Group has been recognized all over the state, drawing more undocumented students to Western Washington University. She plans to break down narratives and challenge people to really look at the underlying issue that all undocumented people deserve human dignity.

Organizing team