x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
December 4, 2021
Union, New Jersey
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).

North Avenue Academic Building
1000 Morris Ave
Union, New Jersey, 07083
United States
Event type:
TEDxWomen (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Union­Township­Women events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aimee Zehner

Healthcare Consultant, Rare Disease Advocate
Aimee Zehner is an Innovative Healthcare Consultant & Rare Disease Advocate creating empowering solutions within our healthcare communities. Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Advocate with the EveryLife Foundation, Rare Disease Legislative Advocates, & Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. Humanitarian, Educator, Comedian, Singer, Artist, Innovator, Entrepreneur. Native New Yorker. Proud Fiorello LaGuardia H.S. of Music & Art alumni. Aimee earned her B.S. in Secondary Education & Creative Writing at CUNY Brooklyn College; and her M.S.Ed, in School Counseling at CUNY Hunter College. A former NYCDOE Guidance Counselor who worked with over-age/under-credited, at-risk H.S. students in socioeconomically disadvantaged & underserved communities in South Brooklyn. Aimee’s grit, tough love & rise in resilience despite traumas, losses, illnesses & adversity makes her relatable to people from all walks of life. Aimee is a true Role Model of Resilience, Empathy and Empowerment.

Alexus Goodwin

Health Advocate
Looking at Alexus Goodwin, you would have no idea of all of the obstacles she’s had overcome in her 26 years of life. Diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Myasthenia Gravis in 2015, 19 year old Alexus Goodwin’s life had drastically change. Nonetheless, she never let that stop her. In 2020, she began sharing her story and starting her advocacy journey, helping people with chronic illnesses all over the world. In 2021, she created her own Zoom Group, called Warriors Unite, for Chronic Illness Warriors to have safe space to get the support needed, foster community, and have fun events to promote living life to the fullest despite living with a health condition. Alexus’ goal is to show and encourage others who are also going through personal struggles that trouble doesn’t last always and to keep going no matter what happens.

Andrea Renée Johnson

Novelist, Poet, Marketing Professional
Andrea Renée Johnson is a novelist, poet, and marketing professional, and author of the lesbian literary fiction novel, Other Women. Andrea grew up poor and evangelical Christian in 1980s Iowa. Her background figures prominently in her work, with themes of overcoming poverty and abuse, coming out, and lesbian or bisexual female characters. God is often an invisible character in her fiction. Andrea earned a B.A. in English and creative writing. It was while in college that Andrea realized she was lesbian. In spite of her upbringing, she refused to see her love for women as a sin. Helping other LGBTQ people find similar personal acceptance is a big part of her mission. While Andrea and her family were intermittently homeless during her teenage years, she has since traveled the world and lived all across America. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found hiking its hills and beaches or at home with her partner and their miniature poodles.

Anika Dodson

Project Manager
Anika Dodson believes a “rising tide lifts all boats”. She graduated from New Jersey's Institute of Technology in 2016 with two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Concrete Industry Management. Anika actively volunteers within the community and her passion is to improve her community through not only service, but construction. She has several years of experience within the construction industry and currently works as a project manager for a local city planning consultancy; in which she provides project management services to municipalities to ensure the completion of their construction projects. In “The Truth About Diversity” Anika discusses diversity in construction/architecture and explores how the industry can improve their ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ efforts.

Chelsea Phillips Tafoya

Creative Producer, On-camera Talent and Creative Storyteller
Chelsea Phillips Tafoya is a high-spirited, award winning producer, on-camera talent and creative storyteller, with extensive media production experience. She has worked with name brands (Home Depot to Coca Cola) and household names (from Shaquille O’Neal to President Jimmy Carter), and garnered millions of impressions as both a producer and host. Tafoya was recently featured in two national commercials, highlighting a Congressional act and was showcased in Oprah’s O Magazine. Joining the sports world, Tafoya live hosted Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Football Fridays and can currently be found on the mic during Atlanta Falcon’s home games. She recently represented Cricket Wireless in the parenting series Navigating a Digital World. “I am Blessed beyond measure!” Chelsea Phillips Tafoya

Donniee Barnes

Performer, Teaching Artist
Donniee Barnes is a New Jersey based Performer and Teaching Artist. Her mission is to present theatre and other expressions of art that heals what appears to be the broken pieces of our development. Her focus suggests that even though life can be a scary, sloppy, hurtful ride, with a change of perspective, it can also be beautiful and worth every minute.

Dr. Sarah De Asis

Psychiatrist, Medical Director
Dr. Sarah De Asis is a practicing Psychiatrist and currently the Medical Director of a Behavioral Health Center. She is a board certified on both Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry. She graduated Medical School from the Philippines. She finished her Adult Psychiatry residency in New Jersey where she became the Chief Resident. She finished her Geriatric Psychiatry fellowship in Connecticut. She has been published and holds an academic appointment. She also served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry for 7 years in a community hospital.

Ednin Martinez

Attorney, Writer
Ednin D. Martinez an Afro-Latina attorney and writer who at a young age discovered a strong desire to effect change through social justice, leading to a career in the law. In her career, she represented low-income and disenfranchised individuals as a non-profit and government attorney. Simultaneously, Ednin pursued her passion for creative writing by participating in prestigious writing workshops like Kweli, VONA Voices and Writing Our Lives. Most recently, she published a non-fiction personal essay titled “When I Was Brave” in Harvard University’s Palabritas. Through her writing, she aspires to shed light on the racial and economic disparities in the Dominican Republic as well as systemic racism in educational and legal institutions in the U.S. She is currently working on a memoir entitled “Every Little Girl From San Pedro,” highlighting these same themes.

Ehlie Luna

Makeup Artist, Content Creator
Ehlie Luna is a pro makeup artist with over a decade of experience. With a background in theater, she got her start at Lincoln Center and eventually moved into more commercial work. A 2020 inspired lean into content creation sparked a passion for sharing and community which has lead to a new path working beauty brands. Ehlie has lent her experience, and knowledge to brands like Beauytblender, Mac Cosmetics, R.E.M Beauty, Pattern Beauty and more.

Kim Mills

Executive Chef, Entrepreneur
Kim Mills is the chef/owner of Laughter Travels Gourmet, LLC. The unique name was organically created like most of her food: Laughter: Kim is known for her infectious laugh; Travels: traveling to cook customized meals; Gourmet: she is a connoisseur of fine food & drink. Food is multifaceted and intersects with: culture, economics, and self care. Kim graduated with a B.S.from Vanderbilt University in Human and Organizational Development. Prior to pursing her passion for food, Chef Kim had an extensive award winning career in Pharmaceutical Sales for several top companies. After formally making the decision to change professions, Kim graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) with Honors in Culinary Arts. Kim is an Adjunct at LaGuardia Community College, and also serves as a member of their Health Sciences Dept. Advisory Board. Chef Kim continues to grow providing: versatile menus inspired by her love of various cuisines, technique, and travel for her celebrity clients.

Leanne Goldberg

Director of Speech-Language Pathology
Leanne Goldberg is the Director of Speech-Language Pathology for the Department of Otolaryngology across the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. She is an experienced clinician who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of the full range of voice, swallowing, and respiratory disorders. She earned her MS at Columbia University in 2005, and went on to complete her fellowship at Mount Sinai. In 2013, she joined the Grabscheid Voice and Swallowing Center at Mount Sinai, where she works extensively with high-level performers, professional voice users, and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. She is highly skilled at performing swallowing evaluations and treating patients with swallowing disorders. Ms. Goldberg has developed a novel behavioral based therapy program to treat patients with chronic cough, which typically yields successful outcomes after only a few visits.

Michèle S. Delisfort

Urban Planner, Mayor
Michèle S. Delisfort, AICP, PP is a Principal and Managing Partner at Nishuane Group, LLC. A planning consultancy located in Montclair NJ. She has 25 years of professional experience in the field of Urban Planning. She is knowledgeable about planning tools that incentivize and promote development in areas in need of revitalization and excels in handling the challenges inherent in working with divergent groups, interests and opinions. She adopts an implementable, equitable planning strategy that enables clients to realize their goals. Active in the American Planning Association (APA)-NJ Chapter, she serves as the Chairperson of the Redevelopment Committee and is a member of the National APA Ethics Committee. Michèle is also an instructor at the NJ Redevelopment Authority-Training Institute and a Planning Board Commissioner. Additionally, Michèle is the Mayor of the Township of Union and a member of her Township Committee.

Mrunmayee Atre

Architect, Urban Planner, Vocalist
Mrunmayee Atre is a passionate Architect, professional Urban Planner, and an enthusiastic Vocalist. Apart from practicing architecture and planning, she has also received a training in Indian classical music and enjoys spending her leisure time in practicing music. Mrunmayee’s special interest is in integrating architectural and planning knowledge with music to create sustainable, people centric, and harmonious communities.

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Seomara Gonzalez

Entrepreneur, branding director
Seomara “Sísí” Gonzalez is the Director of Client Services an elite brand management agency ranked #13 Fastest Growing on the INC 500, and #24 in Global Marketing and Advertising. Hailing from Brooklyn, Sísí began her journey into branding and hospitality as a VIP host at various clubs throughout NYC. Now, working alongside global entrepreneurs and thought leaders, including Emmy Award-winning producers, Grammy Award-winning clients, and prominent CEO's, Sísí is positioned to rise quickly among industry giants offering creative services to some of the world’s premier artists and brands.

Shweta Shah

Artist, Singer, Museum Docent
Business entrepreneur and an artist who passionately loves painting ideas that radiate energy and influence a peaceful life. I am a Museum Docent and community activist. I am also a Fine-arts teacher: painting, sculpture, calligraphy, drawing to years 8+ And all age groups. I have worked as an art director and graphic designer in leading ad-agencies and publication houses for 11 years. Now a full time artist since 2013, after moving to Michigan, USA.

Sisa Quispe

Quechua/ Aymara Activist and Storyteller
Sisa Quispe is a Quechua-Aymara Actress, Voice Over Artist and is currently pursuing a MFA in Filmmaking. Sisa was born and raised in Peru and is currently located in Lenape and Siwanoy occupied land, also known as New York City. She uses her art and platforms to speak out about indigenous identity and environmental issues. She is currently sharing her decolonization journey on social media and hosting a series called #NativeVoices.

Organizing team