x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Inspiring Change!

This event occurred on
April 23, 2022
Conway, South Carolina
United States

Speakers will offer new and innovative ideas for vibrant communities. Issues include, homelessness, the environment, worker cooperatives, literacy, criminal justice, and education.

Coastal Carolina University
100 Chanticleer Drive
Conway, South Carolina, 29528
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ashlyn Preaux

Founder-Grand Strand Action Together
Ashlyn Brierre, originally from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, is the co-founder and co-executive director of the non-profit Grand Strand Action Together (GSAT). She recently co-founded Palmetto State Abortion Fund and has lived in Myrtle Beach with her husband and three kids for six years. Most of her work focuses on political organizing around issues of economic, racial, and gender justice — all of which intertwine with voting rights.

Dodi Hodges

Founder--Palmetto Literacy Council
Dr. Hodges is an author, educator, & speaker. She is the founding member of Palmetto Literacy Council (PLC), a 501c3 non-profit, all-volunteer organization, which opened its doors on August 1, 2019. PLC provides free tutoring for children and adults who struggle with basic reading, writing, and/or math. She is passionate about children and adults learning to read, write, and do math. Her life and career have centered around those who struggle with learning and finding ways for everyone to learn. She has been a teacher, administrator, & teacher educator. Her research has included implementing strategies in reading & mathematics for struggling learners. While Dr. Hodges has several published articles, presented at more than 50 national and international conferences, and was a co-editor on a peer-reviewed book about math strategies. She has also advocated for students throughout her career. Her mission in life is to help as many people as possible learn to read, write, and do math.

Jaime McCauley

Associate Professor of Sociology
Jaime McCauley is Associate Professor of Sociology at Coastal Carolina University specializing in social inequality, community action and social change, and the environment. Her recent work focuses on the impact of volunteer water quality monitoring programs in communities across the US. She is currently examining community action related to flood risk and resilience.

Jennifer Schlosser

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Jennifer A. Schlosser, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Coastal Carolina University. Her research with and advocacy for incarcerated people spans the last 15 years and had been published in several academic journal articles, a book, and an edited volume. Dr. Schlosser’s work seeks to incorporate the voices of incarcerated people to inform changes in correctional and prison policy toward the pursuit of social justice within and beyond the carceral system. Her activism likewise involves advocating for incarcerated peoples’ right to education and her latest work focuses on developing college courses that blend campus-based students and incarcerated students as classmates. Students in these classes not only learn academic material alongside one another, but they are also able to learn the importance of compassion, empathy, and community from one another.

Mal Hyman

Professor of Sociology
Mal Hyman taught at public schools and a medium security prison for 40 years. He is currently a professor of sociology at Coker University. Mal has been active in human rights work in eight countries and monitored two foreign elections with the United Nations. In 2016 he was a democratic candidate for U.S. Congress. He is the author of the book, "Burying the Lead: The Media and the JFK Assassination."

Marley Mac

Marley Mac has her mind seton being the change she wishes to see in the world. At 12 years old, she is the founder of a community service club, The Better Together Initiative (BTI) and an advocate for a national youth empowerment nonprofit organization, Free2Luv. Mac founded BTI at the age of 8 with the goal of connecting local youth to volunteer opportunities. She discovered early on that there were very few opportunities for kids, so she started creating her own events for local and national nonprofits In three years, Mac raised over $43,000 and collected more than 8,000 donations for groups she cared about. When the COVID pandemic began in 2020 she teamed up with Free2Luv and concentrated on helping youth in crisis with new mental health issues stemming from COVID isolation. Marley is proof that the younger generation can do big things and she is on a mission to inspire kids everywhere to go out and do good in their communities!

Sara Brallier

Professor of Sociology
Sara Brallier is a Professor of Sociology at Coastal Carolina University where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Sara earned all her degrees (BA, MA and Ph.D.) from the University of Buffalo. Her specializations are social gerontology, social inequality, homelessness, and research methodology. Her current research is a collaborative effort with her colleague Dr. Stephanie Southworth and their students. Since 2016, they have conducted over 200 needs assessment surveys of experiencing homelessness. Initial findings from the study indicated that lack of reliable and affordable transportation is a significant barrier to obtaining and maintaining employment, making and keeping healthcare and social service appointments, and maintaining their social support network. Using this information, Sara and Stephanie worked with the university and local communities to create the Rolling Forward Program, a bike share program which operates out of the local homeless shelters.

Tamaray White

Coastal Carolina University Student
Tamaray White is a senior Marketing major from Greenville, SC. As a May 2022 graduate, she is looking forward to seeing where life will take her! Throughout her time at Coastal, she has become a part of various programs on campus including the Honors Program and multiple Honor Societies and a leader in the Wall College of Business as a Wall Fellow in the Wall Fellows Program at CCU. She has had opportunities to explore and gain experience in marketing, sales, business law, and supply chain, and has found that she particularly enjoys the real estate, sports/entertainment, and cosmetics industries through her four internships. Guided by authenticity, ambition, compassion, and humility, she is passionate about humanitarianism, creating change in minority societies, and eradicating homelessness and poverty. Her life's mission is to help make a difference in others, and she is always open to and looking for new, innovative ideas to be the change that she wants to see in the world.

Valeria Evans

Family and youth advocate
Valeria was employed by Horry County Schools for 20 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Purpose & Destiny Family School Community Resource Network. She is also an ordained minister, a local team leader for the Reconnecting Youth Campaign (Ready by 21), a parent advocate, a member of the Horry County Redistricting and Infrastructure committee and serves on the board of the Horry County Bail Fund (F.R.E.E.). Valeria believes that when we teach children while showing respect, then we will change society one step at a time.

Organizing team


  • Matthew A. Gilbert
  • S W