2010 Archive

TEDxYouth@Hewitt will feature three sessions examining different aspects of the call made by our event’s theme to “Be The Change.” The following speakers are confirmed. Please join our mailing list or become a fan of our facebook page for alerts as new speakers are added.


Elizabeth Bloodworth

Elizabeth Bloodworth will be the emcee for today’s TEDx event. She works for FOCUS, a non-profit Christian organization that works with middle and upper school youth in New York City. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Duke University. Ms. Bloodworth enjoys long walks on the beach, jam sessions with her roommate and friend Hewitt music teacher Kirsten Lindberg, riding a pink bicycle around Manhattan, and watching and performing improv comedy.


G-POW is the deliciously entertaining brain child of Zelma Davis from C+C Music Factory. These four multicultural girls represent every girl and every personality. They write from the heart about issues real teens can relate to, in a positive, life-affirming way that spins the message into pop magic and reaches out to every fan like a new BFF.

G-POW is based on the After-School Pop Stars Workshop, a singing, songwriting and recording class created by Zelma Davis at The Hewitt School. After-School Pop Stars started as a songwriting, and recording program designed to foster self-esteem in young women by providing a positive outlet for expressing their hopes, dreams, concerns, and emotions through the creative language of music.

Alina Serrano, Jenna Scannelli, Tiyonna Stewart, and Hewitt freshman Zoe Himmel are multi-talented teens ages 14-15 who sing, dance, write and act. G-POW has a unique style which differentiates them from their peers. They are positive role models that parents would approve of, but are cool enough for the avant garde middle school set. G-POW performs extensively throughout NYC for many charitable organizations, including The American Cancer Society, The Terry Fox Foundation and The MacDella Cooper Foundation.

Ileana Jimenez and LREI Feminist Activists

Think feminism is dead? Students studying feminism at Elisabeth Irwin High School don’t think so. Come listen to how they’ve become feminist activists and change agents helping to end the sexual exploitation of girls in New York as well as launch a movement against the sexualization of girls in the media.

Ileana Jiménez

A teacher at LREI who founded the New York LGBT Independent School Educators Group in 2006, Ileana Jimenez serves on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and is a recent alumna of the Progressive Women’s Voices program at the Women’s Media Center in New York. She also blogs for the Huffington Post on issues of diversity and schools.

In 2010, she received the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, and will be conducting research on gender equity and access to education for women and girls in México in the coming year. In 2009, she was named one of the 40 Women of Stonewall by the Stonewall Foundation as well as one of the 30 Women Making History by the Women’s Media Center. Check out her blog on feminist teaching!

Dana Laurie

A senior at The Hewitt School, Ms. Laurie is developing Purus Cosmetics, an organic and vegan line of cosmetics. Ms. Laurie has been honored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship for most innovative business idea and best business plan, as well as the 2010 Daniel Treanor Memorial Award. A cancer survivor, Ms. Laurie speaks openly about her experiences as a way to destigmatize the disease among young people. In February, the Stupid Cancer Show interviewed Ms. Laurie as part of a feature on “Cosmetics: Friend or Foe.”

Molly Lippert

A student in the eighth grade at The Hewitt School, Ms. Lippert has made healthy bones among young people one of her causes for action. In September 2009, Ms. Lippert was asked to be the teen ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and Best Bones Forever (BBF), a campaign associated with the NOF. Since then, she has spoken at events and with news outlets including Teen Vogue and healthcentral.com, to promote healthy eating and exercise among young women, as part of her work for Best Bones Forever, a campaign for girls 9-14 to help prevent osteoporosis.

Arthur Levine

The Woodrow Wilson
National Fellowship Foundation

Arthur Levine is the sixth president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2006-present). Before his appointment at Woodrow Wilson, he was president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University (1994-2006). He also previously served as a faculty member and chair of the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1989-1994), president of Bradford College (1982-89), and senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education (1975-82).

Dr. Levine is the author of scores of articles and reviews, including a series of reports for the Education Schools Project (www.edschools.org) on the preparation of school leaders, teachers, and education researchers. His articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times; The Los Angeles Times; The Wall Street Journal; The Washington Post; Christian Science Monitor; Education Week; Inside Higher Education; and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also authored, co-authored, or edited 11 books, the most recent of which is Unequal Fortunes: Snapshots from the South Bronx (with Laura Scheiber).

Dr. Levine has received a number of honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship, as well as the American Council on Education’s Book of the Year award , the Educational Press Association’s Annual Award for writing (three times), and 19 honorary degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the boards of DePaul University and Say Yes to Education.

Fiona Lowenstein

A junior at The Calhoun School, Ms. Lowenstein works actively to encourage young women to get involved in politics and to understand the past, present and future of feminism. She began working in politics at the age of 12 as an intern for Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. An alumnus of the Girls Leadership Institute, Ms. Lowenstein currently is a weekly guest blogger for the web site of Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out. She runs DISH (Discussing Issues of Sexuality and Health) at her school and was featured recently in the book She’s Out There: 35 Women Under 35 Who Aspire to Lead. A singer/songwriter and poet, Ms. Lowenstein was honored by The Scholastic Art and Writing Program in April for her poetry. Check out Fiona’s latest blog writing and her songs on youtube.

Blaise Alexa Sandberg

Blaise is a 16 year old singer/songwriter – she is also a former competitive figure skater who appeared with Olympic champion Oksana Baiul in Gateway Playhouse’s Equity production of “Cold As Ice,” the first original on-ice musical with Broadway-bound ambitions. Before her bun unraveled, she spent holidays dancing the “Nutcracker” at Tilles Center with the Eglevsky Ballet or at Molloy College in “The Not So Nutcracker” as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Hopelessly typecast, she finally broke free when the Rockaway Theater Company producers’ took a leap of faith and cast her as the youngest featured multi-soloist in their “Welcome to the ‘60s” cabaret where she got to put down serious rock-n-roll roots, fronted a dynamic band of adult pros and learned to embrace Motown and Phil Spector’s wall of sound.

Blaise stitches together the quirky lyrics and fashion sense of Katy Perry with the raw emotional power of Courtney Love and patches it all together while delivering Steve Nicks’ hauntingly evocative rock-n-roll rasp.

Blaise plays both electric and acoustic guitar and writes original songs that blur the line between indie acoustic rock and power pop punk. She has also written pop songs for G*POW, including the X-Box song. Her current effort “Gossip Kills” an anti bullying anthem was debuted at The Arts Effect NYC “Girl Power” event at Off-Broadway’s historic Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.

Audrey Stone, Esq.

Ms. Stone, Second Deputy District Attorney for the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, is Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division which includes oversight of the domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse bureaus. Former director of Pace Women’s Justice Center, Ms. Stone also has taught as an adjunct professor at Pace University Law School. Join us as we learn more about Ms. Stone’s work on behalf of some of our society’s most vulnerable victims, and be inspired by the ways that a legal career can lead you to “be the change.”

Amita Swadhin

Amita Swadhin is dedicated to fighting interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. She pursues her work as an educator, media-maker, public speaker, writer, and nonprofit consultant.

She is the Project Coordinator of Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors (www.secretsurvivors.org), a theater project that she created with Ping Chong & Co., an award-winning nonprofit theater company in New York. In addition to a live performance, Secret Survivors includes a short film, workshops, and online media components, all aimed at increasing public awareness of the scope, prevalence and impact of child sexual abuse. Amita also sits on the Board of Directors of NYAC (National Youth Advocacy Coalition), a national organization advocating for and with LGBTQ youth, and is completing her Master’s degree in Public Administration at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Krupali K. Tejura, M.D.

Dr. Tejura is a board certified radiation oncologist and patient advocate who blogs about her experiences treating those living with cancer. Her brave and compassionate writing reveals the vitality of the patients she works with, both in the United States and in Africa, as well as the struggles they face finding quality, affordable care. She describes herself as Cancer Doctor (Radiation Oncologist), Patient Advocate, Writer, Traveler, Dreamer, Music Lover, Sports Enthusiast, and Believer. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about her activism on behalf of her patients.

Check out her writing at: http://www.krupali.com and follow her on Twitter: @krupali

Amy Unell

Amy Unell was a producer for NBC Today Show based out of the NBC News Los Angeles bureau for six years. Passionate about producing stories for the Today Show series, “Making A Difference TODAY”, Amy received a 2008 Emmy Nomination for her piece, Hoops of Hope. Last year, she became a Media Fellow at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. She directed and produced “STARTING AT THE FINISH LINE: THE COACH BUEHLER STORY,” a documentary film about Duke’s legendary Coach Al Buehler, with Executive Producers Grant Hill & Ann Rubenstein Tisch. Ms. Unell taught the seminar course “Advanced Filmmaking: The Coach Buehler Story” at Duke in Spring 2010.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoachBuehlerStory

Urban Word NYC: Lauren Anderson and Mokgheti Thinane

Urban Word NYC was founded on the belief that teenagers can and must speak for themselves, Urban Word NYC™ (UW) has been at the forefront of the youth spoken word, poetry and hip-hop movements in New York City since 1999. Urban Word NYC presents literary arts education and youth development programs in the areas of creative writing, journalism, college prep, literature and hip-hop. UW provides FREE, safe and uncensored writing workshops to teens year round, and hosts the Annual NYC Teen Poetry Slam, NY Knicks Poetry Slam, local and national youth slams, festivals, reading series, open mics, and more. UW works directly with 15,000 teens per year in New York City alone, and as a steering committee member of the National Youth Spoken Word Coalition, has partner programs in 45 cities. UW also has a vigorous community educator and teacher training series which links inquiry-based classroom practices with the most progressive academic trends in student-centered pedagogy.

Lauren Anderson

Mokgheti Thinane

Urban Word NYC believes that free self-expression – matured in an enhanced critical literacy environment – improves self-confidence and strengthens educational achievement for NYC’s inner city youth. UW promotes active literacy, critical thought, and positive social dialogue across boundaries of age, race, class, gender, culture, and sexuality. Their many workshops are designed to enhance critical thinking skills, leadership, and to ignite a personal commitment to growth and learning which leads to heightened in-school performance, and greater interest in pursuing higher education.

Mokgethi “Mega” Thinane is a fast emerging performance poet based out of Brooklyn, New York. 2010 Nuyorican Youth Poet Of Year Finalist and 3rd Place Winner of the 2010 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Slam. A participant in the Urban Word/ Dance Theater Workshop collaboration, Journal To Journey, through which he will be performing a one man show entitled “Steady-State” this December. Artistically gifted, Mega is also an MC, DJ, and Fashion Designer. Outside of pursuing his Associates Degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he lends his knowledge and guidance as a Youth Board Member and Youth Mentor for Urban Word NYC.

Lauren “Lo” Anderson possesses more talent and drive than many women twice her age. Anderson believes in excelling at any endeavor she takes on. After entering her first poetry slam two years ago, she beat out many teens to make it the finals. She followed that success with finishing second place in the 2010 Knicks Poetry slam. While often outshining the competition with her talent for poetry, Anderson does not consider herself merely a poet. She has a true love and appreciation for all performing arts. She’s taught herself all she knows about playing guitar, singing, and loves fusing music into all that she does. According to Anderson, “anything that involves being on stage, I’m with it.” When asked where she gets her inspiration, she expressed her desire to speak for people who cannot speak for themselves.


Sri Lankan Blood, Manchester Born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, YaliniDream is an artist, activist, and facilitator. She conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance– reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has toured nationally throughout the US as well as performing in Canada, England & Sri Lanka. As a director & facilitator, YaliniDream works to bring under-represented voices to center stage through community based theater productions. Through experimental collaboration she seeks to build artistic work that reflects the strength of communities while cherishing difference. YaliniDream was the director and facilitator of Andolan’s Sukh aur Dukh ki Kahani–a storytelling project with Bangladeshi and Indian domestic workers in Queens, NY and facilitated theater workshops with OfERR for Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps in India. She has been a long term volunteer with the Audre Lorde Project’s SOS(Safe Outside the System) Collective in Brooklyn working to address homophobic and transphobic violence against people of color. Visit YaliniDream’s web site.

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