TEDx expresses interest in LMC

Los Medanos College is looking to host several TEDx events in 2016-17 in an effort to make LMC a more innovative campus.

In Spring 2015, there was a request for innovative ideas and LMC was looking for events big or small to make the campus more creative.

Laurie Huffman, World Languages Department Chair, and Marie Arcidiacono, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, submitted an Innovation Proposal Form around the time the LMC Innovation Grant announcement came out about a year ago.

The purpose of the events is to “introduce the expertise, passion and cutting edge innovative ideas of LMC to the Brentwood (and surrounding communities),” states the innovation proposal. “We want our community, specifically our community in Far East County, to know that LMC is more than just an institution that offers classes.”

Starting in 1984, TEDx was created to encourage communities and people all over the world to start talking about technology, entertainment and design. Over time, it grew to include even bigger topics from science to global issues. The goal of this program was to share ideas, hence their slogan, “Ideas worth spreading”. On their website, they have many diverse speeches in video format that people from all over the world can watch.

At the moment, Huffman and Arcidiacono are applying for a license offer for TEDx to be at LMC.

TED will not be coming to LMC, but the campus will be using the brand name for the event. Instead a selected group of students from LMC will be giving speeches.

The first student speaker series is scheduled for May 5th.

“We have chosen our first speakers for this initial event, but in fall we will be asking for anyone interested to try out for the event,” Huffman said.

Students, faculty, staff and the community can participate by attending the first event as an audience. There will be a webpage that people can use to watch past TEDx speeches and learn how to become a speaker at the next event.

A group of judges that include students, faculty, community members, administrators and classified employees will decide on who the fall speakers will be.

“Obviously, there is a potential challenge that we will not immediately have a large number of applicants for speaking positions at the TEDx event,” The Innovation proposal said. “That’s a risk every new event takes on.”

The goal of having the next speaker series is to engage students and faculty from learning communities such as the LMC Debate Team, Honors, MESA, Transfer and Puente Programs in an effort to help promote the event through word of mouth.

“I see many of our students of color fearful of speaking in front of a group,” Huffman said. “The irony is that their stories are so powerful. Everyone needs to hear our students’ stories, but the speakers may feel their stories are not important.”

The next two events will be during fall 2016 and spring 2017.

By having the brand name TEDx, there may be an attendance fee.

“We see this as a potential challenge for our students and members of the community from economically disadvantaged groups,” the proposal said.

Huffman and Arcidiacono requested scholarship monies to help students who can’t afford the fee to be able to attend the events.