This year’s sixth annual TEDxYouth@RVA, organized by a team of students from throughout the metro Richmond area, will take place on Saturday, November 14 from 6:30-8:00 pm.
The event will have live stream pre-recorded talks. It focuses on innovative thinkers from the Richmond area who have ideas worth spreading throughout the community. It is free to watch for all.
The event is being organized by students from Collegiate School. These students have invested time and energy into curating an impressive display of speakers who best represent the powerful minds that are working to use their ideas to improve the community. At TEDxYouth@RVA, Richmonders have the opportunity to tune into this engaging evening of short, powerful talks filled with new ideas.
Eight speakers will share ideas and insights related to this year’s theme - VIRTUALITY - to inspire the Richmond community.
Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.
Singer-songwriterDeau Eyes is Ali Thibodeau, a Richmond, Virginia native. She is a singer-songwriter, recording artist, and arts educator with a slew of experience in over 45 colorful occupations. Lifelong dreams of a career in performance brought her to live in New York, Florida, Idaho, and all over Virginia, to work in theaters, theme parks, studios, classrooms, festivals, and cruise ships. For most of her life, Thibodeau has been part of the ensemble — dancing, speaking, and singing from a script. It has only been in recent years that she has listened to herself, to her original inner voice, and began to translate her wide range of experiences into her own music. Her debut album Let it Leave, released in May 2020, delivers a message of power and resilience through loss, leaving, and womanhood. Her latest single “Haven’t You Had Quite Enough” in collaboration with DJ Harrison celebrates hope, solidarity, and confidence in our ability to change the world for the better in these uncertain times.
Former NFL Player/Motivational SpeakerBilly McMullen is a former Philadelphia Eagle and University of Virginia All-American receiver. He was the all-time leading receiver at UVA after his 4-year tenure. He played 7 years in the NFL, winning the 2005 NFC Championship and earning a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX. After his career, Billy became heavily involved in the community, coaching and mentoring young people. He is also a motivational speaker, who inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to understand their true identity of power through his message: MADEFREE.
GerontologistCatherine MacDonald is a gerontologist on a mission to change the way people think about growing old. She focuses her work on bringing gerontologists, changemakers, and other community members together to center the voices of elders and implement community-driven, evidence-based solutions. Catherine lives in Richmond and earned her master’s degree in Gerontology from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Educational ResearcherCharol Shakeshaft has been studying equity and justice in schools for four decades. Charol is an acclaimed author, receiving national and state awards. She was just awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control to study the prevention of school employee sexual misconduct. In 2004, Dr. Shakeshaft completed a report mandated by the U.S. Senate that presented on the prevalence of educator sexual misconduct as well as recommendations to the Senate and House of Representatives for federal, state, and local prevention initiatives. Dr. Shakeshaft serves as an expert witness in both criminal and civil cases on the sexual abuse of children in youth organizations and schools. She was elected an AERA fellow in 2015 and received the 2015 AERA Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award and the 2020 Outstanding Research Award. Charol currently teaches graduate courses in the Department of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Doctoral Student, PsychologyEmily Lasko is a current doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Emily has spent her academic career researching psychopathy, sadism, and aggressive behavior. Her research aims to examine the interplay between the biological and environmental factors that contribute to the development of these “dark” traits and associated behaviors, as well as their downstream effects on life outcomes such as incarceration.
Guizhi (Julian) Zhu
Assistant Professor of PharmaceuticsGuizhi (Julian) Zhu is a KL2 Mentored Clinical Research Scholar, an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a core member of Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences, and an associate member of VCU Massey Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was a postdoc fellow at NIH-NIBIB where he studied the engineering and multimodal pharmacoimaging of novel drug delivery systems. His research is in the interfaces of immunology, pharmaceutical engineering, and biomaterials, particularly in development of nucleic acid theranostics and drug delivery systems for the immunotherapy of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious disease, and drug abuse. The ultimate goal of his research group is to integrate pharmacoengineering principle with pharmacology for the treatment of diseases. His research has been funded by an NINDS R21, NCATS KL2, VCU Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences, and others.
Housing Law Outreach AttorneyJanae Craddock is a Richmond, Virginia native. While studying in law school Janae realized she had a passion for helping others and developed an interest in public service. After admission to the Virginia State Bar in 2007, she served at the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond. As a prosecutor, she argued motions and tried criminal cases in the General District, Traffic, and Circuit Courts. Currently, she is the Housing Law Outreach Attorney at Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc. Her practice focuses on providing advice and legal representation to low-income individuals facing evictions and other landlord-tenant related issues. In 2019, she was appointed by Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney to serve on the City of Richmond Eviction Task Force and was also recognized as one of Style Weekly’s “Top 40 under 40.” She is a member of the Virginia State Bar, Virginia Bar Association, Old Dominion Bar Association and Hill Tucker Bar Association.
Anran ZhaoTeam member
Beckett FosterTeam member
Ethan ClarkTeam member
Eva WaldronTeam member
Grace CornellTeam member
Grayson BoydTeam member
Isabella ZeballosTeam member
Lily HunnicuttTeam member
Nadia WestTeam member
Olivia NoltTeam member
Pender BauhanTeam member
Preston WardTeam member
Will HansonTeam member