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This event occurred on
March 15, 2019
Atlanta, Georgia
United States

From rest to roadways, spaceflight to swimming, and landfills to legacy writings, 2019 TEDxAtlanta speakers will challenge us to look at the world from a new vantage point.

Rialto Center for the Arts
80 Forsyth Street, NW
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Allie Kelly

Transportation futurist
For Allie Kelly, roadways are avenues to a better future. As the executive director of The Ray, an 18-mile living transportation lab located in West Georgia’s Interstate 85, Allie leads a team of experts working on leading-edge technologies with a single goal: transform transportation infrastructure and create zero-impact roadways for all. Previously, Allie served as senior vice president at the Georgia Conservancy and is the founder of Georgia Watch, the state’s only consumer watchdog organization in 2002. Allie holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia.

Ayoka Chenzira

Black Independenty Cinema Pioneer
Ayoka is a pioneer in Black independent cinema. Her films span fiction, documentary, animation, and interactive cinema and many are included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Schoenberg Center for Research in Black Culture as well as other institutions worldwide. In 2018, Ayoka’s early films were selected to be preserved in the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Her animated film, Hair Piece: a film for nappyheaded people, considered the first film by a African American woman animator, was selected as one of twenty five films inducted into the National Film Registry. Recently, Ayoka directed an episode of Ava DuVernay’s hit drama, Queen Sugar, for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network that was nominated for a NAACP Image award for Outstanding Directing in Drama. Ayoka is the Division Chair for the Arts and Chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College.

Celine Irvene

Cybersecurity researcher
Celine Irvene’s work on robotics security with Raheem Beyah, the associate chair for strategic initiatives and innovation at Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been featured in Digital Trends, Engadget, and Futurity. She is a doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech where she researches cyber physical system security, with a focus on robotics security, smart home and smart building security, as well as the concept of connected everything. Celine obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering both from Georgia Tech.

Chris White

Positive organizations advocate
Chris’ passion lies in helping leaders build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people. He leads the University of Michigan’s Center for Positive Organizations which works toward this goal through ground-breaking research, educational programs, and organizational partnerships. Chris’ work has been featured by CBS, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., and Talent Management Magazine and is the recipient of the Ideas Worth Teaching Award for excellence in business education from The Aspen Institute. He is co-author of “Changing Your Company from the Inside Out” published by the Harvard Business Review Press. Chris holds a Master of Business Administration the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Dantes Rameau & the Atlanta Music Project

Social enterprise
The award-winning Atlanta Music Project empowers underserved youth to realize their possibilities through music. It provides more than 5,000 hours of intensive, tuition-free music education each year. The idea for AMP was introduced at TEDxPeachtree 2009. Led by Dantes Rameau, it now serves 350 students via eight programs. AMP music ensembles perform more than 40 concerts annually, and have performed alongside acclaimed artists such as the Harlem Quartet, electric violinist Lindsey Stirling and R&B singer Monica. AMP is a 2018 winner of Emory University's Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. It was named a top 50 after-school arts program in the nation by the White House in 2016 and 2017.

Fahamu Pecou

Multidisciplinary visual artist
Fahamu Pecou is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose works address contemporary representations of Black male masculinity while offering commentary on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture. His work is featured in collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Societe Generale (Paris), The High Museum of Art and Clark Atlanta University Art Collection. Fahamu is a recipient of the 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation "Painters and Sculptors" Award and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Atlanta College of Art and a doctoral degree from Emory University.

John Bradford

Mass spaceflight advocate
Aerospace engineer John Bradford is passionate about humanity becoming a multi-planetary species. As president of SpaceWorks Enterprises, he has worked on cutting edge technologies related to spaceflight for DARPA and the Air Force Research Lab. The nonprofit Human Torpor Fund established by John facilitates research and innovation that will advance human hibernation capabilities for spaceflight and work done in this area has garnered coverage in CNET, Quartz, Daily Beast and BBC News. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Johnny Poore

Waste visionary

Makenzie Collier Bernard Bell

Movement Artists

Marcia Reynolds

author, leadership expert
Marcia’s work in leadership development and workplace communications has reached over 100,000 people in 41 countries. She develops practical applications from the latest neuro/behavioral science discoveries and uses them in her work with some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Her books have been featured in Fast Company, Harvard Management Review, Psychology Today and The Wall Street Journal. A globally acclaimed coach, Marcia is the training director at Virginia Tech’s Healthcare Coaching Institute. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational psychology and master’s degrees in communications and education.

Noble Gerard

Singer, songwriter

Paul Wolpe

Paul’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of medicine and technology on the human condition. He is recognized as a founder of the field of neuroethics and is widely published in sociology, medicine and ethics. Paul is a frequent media contributor and commentator and he has been featured on 60 Minutes and the Science Times of the New York Times. He was NASA’s first senior bioethicist and served for 15 years. . Paul is currently, the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Professor of Jewish Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Biological Behavior, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.

Roop Singh

Technology strategist, provacy advocate
Roop believes that users should have agency over their own data. With more than a decade of experience architecting systems and processes that drive efficiencies and change at Fortune 1000 companies and startups alike, Roop developed the Blockchain Strategy Bootcamp, a multidisciplinary educational program that combines strategy, innovation, business architecture and technology to evolve new business models and uncover new markets. He is founder of Intuit Factory, an education and consulting firm and the co-founder of Genesis Blox, a blockchain-enabled identity startup.

Ryan J.

Spoken word artist

Ryan Johnson

From breakup voicemails to time-traveling zombies, Ryan brings audiences into the folds of his universe rich with commentary and often scathing perspective on police brutality, masculinity, mental health and black culture. He is an internationally touring spoken word artist based in Atlanta and is currently ranked 13th in the world for spoken word. Ryan is a 2018 Cave Canem Fellow, a 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, the 2018 Art Amok Slam Champion, and a 2018 Blackberry Peach Poetry Prize Winner. You may also recognize Ryan from the Season 2 Finale of BET's The Quad.

Sara Botto

Cognitive researcher
Sara’s research investigates when and how humans develop a concern for reputation. Her recent publication on toddler’s sensitivity to others’ evaluations has been featured in various outlets, including ABC News, the Huffington Post, and other major international newspapers. Sara is the author of which provides parents with credible, science-based child developmental research presented in an easy-to-understand and engaging way. She is a doctoral candidate in the Cognition and Development program at Emory University. Sara received a Bachelor in Science from University of Georgia and her master’s degree in experimental psychology from Emory.

Saundra Dalton-Smith

Saundra Dalton-Smith is passionate about helping others live their best life, especially the stressed-out and burned-out. She is both a board-certified internal medicine physician practicing in Alabama and an award-winning author. Saundra has been featured in outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC, CBS, and Prevention. Her newest release,” Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity” offers groundbreaking insight on the seven types of rest. Saundra received her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

Scott Zucker

Ethical will advocate
Scott Zucker is an avid proponent of creating ethical wills. He believes these legacy writings are a powerful and tangible way to share family histories, pass on personal values and convey lessons learned to future generations. Scott is also a founding partner of the law firm of Weissmann Zucker Euster Morochnik & Garber, P.C., and is a certified mediator and arbitrator. He has written over 150 articles and conducted more than 100 lectures across the country on business and employment law. Scott obtained his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and received his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Shontavia Johnson

Pop culture expert
Shontavia demystifies complex legal and business principles by drawing from pop culture and everyday examples. A respected attorney and author, Shontavia has been featured on CNN, Fortune, Fox News and NPR. She is published in law reviews including the Berkeley Technology Law Review and the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review. Her article on trademark law and the internet was named 2014’s best in the world by the International Trademark Association. In 2016, Shontavia was named one of America’s Top 40 Young Lawyers by the American Bar Association. Shontavia is the associate vice president for academic partnerships and innovation at Clemson University and CEO of business consultancy firm Johnson International Group.

Taylor Duncan

Taylor Duncan founded Alternative Baseball Organization in 2016. Diagnosed with autism at age 4, Taylor is at the forefront of changing what it means to be an athlete. Growing up, he often wasn’t allowed to play baseball due to preconceived notions of persons with autism. Undeterred, Taylor improved his technique by working with some of the best players in baseball and slowpitch softball . Today, Taylor’s organization is comprised of 18 teams in 12 states and growing with additional expansion plans to Canada. The organization enables teens and adults on the spectrum and with other special needs strive to break barriers and change perceptions through baseball.. Taylor’s contributions were recognized by The Georgia House of Representatives in 2018. He was presented with the 2019 J.B. Hawkins Humanitarian Award by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Tee Faircloth

Turnaround expert
Tee Faircloth loves solving big challenges. His latest target: rural healthcare. Tee spent the last 20 years rebooting insolvent companies and distressed industries. His company Coordinated Care Inc is revitalizing rural healthcare to make a difference for the 70 million Americans who depend on rural hospitals. Today, through the company’s mission, Tee is a thought-leader on rural health actively working with legislators, state governments, academic institutions and national rural health advocates to drive innovations that can benefit patient care and hospitals alike.

Trish Miller

Water safety advocate
Public health professional Trish P. Miller founded SwemKids to keep children safe in and around water. Inspired by Trish’s near drowning experience as an adult, SwemKids is an elementary and middle school swim and water safety program that equips black children and their families with the skills and the wherewithal to overcome socio-cultural norms about swimming. The program helps children develop a healthy relationship with the water by introducing them to it early and often. Trish graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in economics and received master’s degrees in business administration and in public health from the College of William and Mary and Emory University, respectively.

Organizing team


Atlanta, GA, United States
  • Joyce Auskelis
  • Linley Branham
  • Rachel McGehee
    Team member
  • Steve Meister