Knox College
x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Advocating for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

This event occurred on
March 29, 2024
Galesburg, Illinois
United States

We are pleased to introduce the first TEDxKnoxCollege event with the theme “Advocating for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging”. The event aims to educate and enlighten the attendees with new ideas and perspectives about inclusivity and raise an awareness about curating safe and brave spaces that honor identities. Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of independently organized events which bring the community together in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.”

Harbach Theatre
2 E South St.
Galesburg, Illinois, 61401
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alyssa Mathias

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
Alyssa Mathias is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Knox College, where she teaches courses on global traditional and popular music. A former Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute, she holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with musicians in Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, and the United States. Her research focuses on the possibilities and challenges of arts-based development in the South Caucasus, with case studies in conflict transformation, information technology, and sustainable tourism. She is also working on a multigenerational study of silence in the US Armenian diaspora. A violinist and singer, Alyssa performs a wide variety of music from Europe and the Middle East.

Deirdre Dougherty

Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
Deirdre Mayer Dougherty is an assistant professor of Educational Studies at Knox College where she teaches educational foundations and policy. As an historian of education and qualitative researcher, she has explored school desegregation in the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, and Midwest. Deirdre’s work has been published in Media History, The Journal of Urban History, Educational Studies, The Fordham Law Review, and The Annals of Iowa. Her co-authored book, Making Integration Work, built on four years of ethnographic research in a New Jersey district and situated modern day efforts at school redistricting within larger historical and political contexts. Her manuscript, A Planned Effort for Racism: Place, Race, and Desegregation in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a history of school desegregation in suburban Washington, D.C., is under contract with Rutgers University Press. Deirdre earned her BA from Smith College, her MA from Georgetown University, and her PhD from Rutgers University.

Diya Goyal

Undergraduate Student
Diya Goyal is an international student from India studying creative writing and business at Knox College. She was born in Agra, which is the city of Taj Mahal and lived in Singapore for 8 years, where she developed a love for the English language. She is a senior and president of the UNICEF and aaina Club on campus. She also works as an international ambassador alongside esteemed faculty members. She likes to indulge in recreational activities like performative dancing, jazz nights at the Community Arts Centre and badminton during the weekends. She is extremely passionate about her culture and often cooks Indian food for her and her friends when she misses the feeling of being home. She believes in being open-minded, kind, empathetic and hard-working as values to practice in one’s day-to-day life. Post-Knox, she plans to get into marketing for a publishing firm or go to graduate school. She dreams of a world where she gets to bring her parents to America and give them a better life.

Ely Fair

Visiting Instructor of Economics
Ely Melchior Fair is a visiting instructor at Knox College and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri: Kansas City. Ely has a Masters in Labour Policies and Globalization from the University of Kassel and the Berlin School of Economics and Law and received a bachelors in Political Economy from the Evergreen State College. Living in Galesburg, Illinois, Ely does research on housing markets and economic history.

Jeremiah Martin

Undergraduate Student
Jeremiah Martin was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. He developed a passion for words and wordplay at a young age, often crafting satirical songs that mimicked popular radio hits and corporate jingles during his youth. His unique blend of comedy and lyric writing propelled him on a lifelong journey toward becoming a published poet and outstanding scholar. As a former fellow of The BAD Lab at Stanford University and a current student-teacher in Peoria, IL, Jeremiah actively seeks to incorporate Black speech into secondary education curricula. His goal is to provide underrepresented students of color with opportunities to have their cultural voices heard and accepted throughout their educational journeys. Being actively involved in the McNair Scholars program at Knox College, he is set to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing and Secondary Education in 2024, and aspires to pursue his PhD with a focus on hip-hop poetry and social and emotional learning.

Joel Willison

Director + Producer
Joel Willison (Artistic Producer, he/him) is a director and producer in Chicago. Having lived overseas from age 7-18 in Kampala, Uganda, Joel is focused on accessibility to stories/stage/theatre, and the intersection between the internet and live theatre. He produces work focused on new work development for new voices - curating a space for new/early-career artists to understand their craft and collaborate in community. Joel is the Artistic Director for Pocket Theatre V.R., a company member of Playground Chicago, a member of For The Group Chicago, and was selected for Directors Haven 6 in 2023. Recent directing credits include Assistant Directing for Tambo and Bones (Refracted Theatre Company), Stakeholders (The Runaways Lab Theater), Laments of a Brown Bird Summer (Haven), Dead at 24 (Pocket Theatre VR), A Kind of Blue (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre) and work with Playground - Chicago, Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble, and Stage Left Theatre.

Reginald Bell

Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication and Public Relations
Reginald Bell, Jr., is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication and Public Relations at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. He received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Memphis, a Master of Divinity from Emory: Candler School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Birmingham Southern College. Among numerous other accomplishments, Bell recently published “500+ illustrations for sermons & other occasions” and was a communication consultant to Rev. Raphael Warnock, Senator. Finally, he is a third-generation clergy and has taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Organizing team


Galesburg, IL, United States