x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
November 12, 2022
1:00pm - 6:00pm MST
(UTC -7hrs)
Denver, Colorado
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).

Buell Theatre
1350 Curtis Street
Denver, Colorado, 80202
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ann Marie Awad

Ann Marie Awad is the host and creator of the award-winning podcast On Something, a show about drug policy and the human side of cannabis legalization. Immediately upon arriving in Colorado in 2016, Awad saw the link between Colorado's legal weed industry and funding for public education. Their interest grew to include stories about immigration, child welfare, and healthcare access. After hosting On Something for three years, Awad now helps others create podcasts as a producer, editor, and teacher. They live in Denver with their partner Heath and big old dog Rudy.

Colorado Bhangra Team

The Colorado Bhangra Team is Colorado’s official state and only competitive team, consisting of collegiate chapters from CU Boulder and CU Colorado Springs. Bhangra is a folk dance that originated in Punjab, India. Traditionally, men wear turbans and women wear churi daar or salwaar kaameej. Colorado Bhangra has performed at the U.S. Capitol and for His Holiness Dalai Lama Fellows. They taught at the Global Changemakers Summit in Switzerland. They hope to spread the joy that is Bhangra through entertainment you won’t forget! Performers include Jaheen Ahsan, Raiyah Shah, Sweta Tripathi, Henna Jethani, Anna Constancia, Tarjani Mehta, Sub Mohanty, Shweta Ravichandar, Kevin Puri, Satwik Nandala, Sukhman Cheema, and Krishna Adettiwar.

Erin Merelli

Death Doula
Death Doula & Ceremonialist Erin Merelli works with those on the edge of death all the way until their final breath. In 2019, she partnered with Green Funeral Director Lauren Carroll and co-founded Deathwives. Together, they’ve successfully trained thousands of people to support their own loved ones through the end and to provide death care in their communities. Erin lives in Denver with her two teenagers, a rotation of rescue animals, and an ethos that grief is an act of love.

Gregg Deal

Artist & Activist
Gregg Deal is a provocative contemporary artist whose multimedia work challenges Western perceptions of Indigenous people. Through painting, graphic design, murals, performance art, filmmaking, and spoken word, Deal examines issues of decolonization and appropriation and their impacts within Indian Country. Through various social justice movements (#changethename, #MMIR), he challenges the silencing and erasure of Indigenous people, and instead works to elevate Native personhood and educate non-Native peoples living on Indigenous homelands. Gregg is a citizen of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

James "Pigeon" Fielder

Game Designer
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lieutenant Colonel James "Pigeon" Fielder, Ph.D., joined Colorado State University as a Political Science Instructor. He’s also a senior designer for the Littleton, Colorado-based tabletop roleplaying game company Mobius Worlds Publishing. For over two decades, Pigeon has designed and executed training exercises and wargames, from small-group tabletop discussions to multi-day exercises with 5,000+ participants. Today, his research and consulting work focuses on interpersonal trust and emergent political processes in gaming. Pigeon roosts with his wife Kelly, son Penny, a three-legged cat, and two pigeons (the source of his nickname). Their daughter Kyla lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jovan Mays

Jovan Mays is the inaugural and emeritus Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado, a National Poetry Slam Champion, TEDx speaker, and the Youth Voice Coordinator of Aurora Public Schools. Mays has worked with well over one million students through poetry outreach in his program, Your Writing Counts. He is the author of 3 books: Pride, The Great Box Escape, and This Is Your Song. The Pilgrimage, Button Poetry, and Write About Now have published his work. He is a graduate of Chadron State College, where he played football, wrestled, and earned a degree in Secondary History Education. He's joined on stage by Alex Armstrong, Jesse Hunter, and Tyson Bennett of Von Disco.

Linda Kay Klein

Purity Culture Expert
Linda Kay Klein is the award-winning author of "Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free." She is a purity culture recovery coach and the founder and president of Break Free Together, a nonprofit serving individuals recovering from gender- and sexuality-based religious trauma. She has an interdisciplinary Master's degree in gender, sexuality, and religion from New York University and is a trained Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education facilitator.

Monika Bleszynski

Materials Scientist
Dr. Monika Bleszynski received her Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Denver, specializing in polymer materials. Her academic research focuses on assessing the effects of polymer and plastic damage on various products and the environment and finding sustainable polymer alternatives. She has taught classes at the University of Denver and recently joined a Silicon Valley-backed startup to develop solutions to address global plastic pollution and resource scarcity. In her spare time, she enjoys woodworking and traveling to far-flung locations with her husband.

Virginia Santy

Women’s Economic Strategist
Throughout Dr. Virginia Santy’s career as a startup founder, executive advisor, and researcher, one thing remains constant: her dedication to improving the lives of all women through data, design, and innovation. She co-founded Women in Kind, the first co-working space in Colorado designed for women, and negotiated a successful sale of that business in 2019. She consults with cities and business districts on designing spaces and policies that support women’s economic success in the public and private sectors. Last but never least, Virginia is the mother of a warrior-hearted daughter.

Organizing team


Denver, CO, United States