“We’re all stories in the end…make yours worth telling”. - Dillon “Stoney D” Stoneburner. If you want to know Lisa's #1 takeaway from TEDxDayton, read on....
TEDxDayton definitely left me feeling infused and inspired. As I replay the day in my mind, I am reminded of dancer Dillon "Stoney D" Stoneburner's words, "We're all stories in the end…make yours worth telling". The day was exactly that, a collection of incredible stories from Dayton natives and transplants; speakers and artists, all passionate about using their stories to positively affect others.
Each of the speakers expertly delivered their stories with firm resolve, most employing humor, and many using pictures and slides as punctuation. The dancers told stories with movement, spoken word artists through rhythmic delivery of words, and musicians with instruments and voices. I am grateful to have been present.
Sharon Rab, Michael Leiberman, Mark Roosevelt, Judith Ezekiel, and Jay Martinez shared painful cultural experiences that have caused them to become catalysts for change. Nora Stanger overcame extreme poverty, abandonment, and shame as a child. Deondra Parks survived a heinous hate crime. Both women told agonizing stories that brought me to tears and then ended in triumph, each overcoming overwhelming challenges to exceed their personal goals and serve others.
Justin Bayer, founder of "Welcome to College", shocked us all with statistics of low graduation rates and how many of our college students find themselves feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, lonely, and sad. In response, he developed an innovative program to improve the college selection experience and four year graduation rates by engaging M-A-R-V. His research finds that students who employ MARV enjoy these benefits:
Meaning = a greater sense of self
Accomplishment = feel the joy of getting things done
Relationships= with mentors who believe in us make us better people
Vitality = feel fully alive and don't lose sight of their passion
Chris Wire cautioned us against neglecting the power of our own minds by depending on "Google" and reaching for our smartphones too often. He reminded us that creativity is about discovering new answers, encouraging us to be curious and ask "Why?"
Dr. Nathan Klingbeil shared how and why Wright State University's revolutionary engineering curriculum graduates more engineering students, many with marginal math skills on entry, than competitive programs.
When Brad Doudican flashed up a slide stating that the City of Dayton is 4th in the nation for food hardship, he did so to illustrate the point that there is no shortage of need in this world, or people with resources seeking to do good - and Dayton is no exception. Brad highlighted our need for transitional leaders who focus on understanding both our needs and capabilities. There's so much more to say, but I'm running out of time and space.
Our closing speaker, London Coe, urged us to date our city, fall in love with it, and seek out the good in Dayton. At Dayton Local we believe in Coe’s message and will continue to focus on sharing positive information about our community, its businesses, and supporting positive events like TEDxDayton.
To sum up, my #1 takeaway was, "stop and listen”. Oh, sure, it was easy to listen while seated in a dark theater focused on the stage. TEDxDayton infused me with curiosity, reminded me that each of us has a unique story, and inspired me to ask others to share theirs so I can better understand them. The challenge will be to remember to ask during busy days and nights, and then take the time to "stop and listen”.
Resilience is a state of mind. - Deondra Parks
1. Education is a requirement, not an option.
2. We must be each other's champion or we will not survive.
3. We were created for a purpose and that purpose is good! - Nora Stanger
The arts are not the icing on the cake; they are a binding agent (like eggs). - Marta Wojcik
Hate crimes are message crimes. We have to send a message back. - Michael Liebermen
Racism makes this world a dangerous place. - Judith Ezekiel
Words have the power to promote peace. - Sharon Rab
1. Say "Yes" - things will happen
2. Let go of the thing that's holding you back. - Justin Howard
Success is about what you do with what you know. - Todd Dewett
Also read: TEDxDayton: Arts and culture are the key