TEDxPasadenaWomen on May 30, 2015. One of 250 independently organized TEDx Women events happening across the globe in connection with the main TEDWomen event in Monterey CA the same week. 14 speakers, 3 special guests, 100 in the audience. What a day.
In a few short weeks, around the fourth of July, you’ll be able to view videos of all the TEDxPasadenaWomen speakers, guests, and interviews too. In the meantime, here are a few of my own highlights and some of the other speakers I am looking forward to sharing when the videos are up.
The title for my talk is “How Unconscious Bias Puts Us on the Same Team.” I spoke about how unconscious bias is stalling women’s progress but that noticing out loud the ways unconscious bias impacts ALL of us, puts us on the SAME TEAM where we can change the WHAT (the processes, systems, environment) not the WHO (each other) to make difference for everyone. But really I told stories – a story about Kate and her Equal Pay Day t-shirt, two stories from high school basketball that taught me lessons about dealing with unconscious bias, and a story about my husband David.
Favorite quotes from people after my talk:
“You knocked it out of the park.”
“I felt like I just had a talk with my best friend.”
“I want to be on your team.”
My daughter Kate attended as my guest, and she wore the t-shirt she made for Equal Pay Day (Women, Like Men Only Cheaper) which figures prominently in the talk I shared with the audience. So after my time on stage, everyone wanted to talk to her. They even interviewed her on camera as part of my post-talk interview. I knew it would be great to have her there, but it was absolutely incredible – she thought I was cool for a day, we got to share this amazing experience, she got to talk with people who cared what she thought as a person – not a kid, and she got to be part of a room full of people who believe you can make a difference if you speak up.
Favorite quote of things people said to Kate:
“You and your mom are badasses.”
I fell in love all of our speakers and special guests from that day, but a blog post with all of them would be too long, so I’m going to highlight a few that have special connections for me.
The moment after I get to share my own video, I am going to share Alyesha Wise’s video. She kicked off the day with a strong, wise-beyond-her-years, vulnerable performance poem that grabbed the audience by the collar and said “Wake up and listen to me!” This young woman is going places.
“It’s not about what you’re running to but about what you find out about yourself when you get there.”
Tembi Locke and I met in a UCLA weekend writing workshop, and we knew we’d meet again. Tembi shared a moving message about the loss of her husband and the power of connection and unconditional love in our lives, and especially in the midst of caregiving and grief. Her website, The Kitchen Widow, is my go-to source for how to compassionately support people I love through grief. (And I got more cool points with my daughter for knowing the actress in “Bones.”)
“It is in giving that we are receiving life’s greatest gifts.”
As many of you know, one of the many issues I care about is the economic security of women and the need for women to take charge of their own financial well-being. So I’ll be sharing Ron Florance’s video too. Ron tosses out the complex, off-putting, jargon of financial advisors in favor of asking yourself three questions. All of which Kate and I remembered the next day.
“What’s your money for? What are you worried about? What will make you happy?”
As a fan, it was a treat to meet Alex Cohen, from KPCC, who compared motherhood to roller derby – which makes way more sense than you may think – and paralleled my own experience so closely. Frank Chechel spoke about what it is like to be a man and father who cares about women’s momentum. As soon as he started telling a story of trying to make a cheese quesadilla for his child and being critiqued by his wife, my daughter and I locked eyes from across the room and both mouthed “CRUNCHY WAFFLES!” – the equivalent story from my book.
And that’s just a taste of the day. I’ll try to share more highlights as we all wait for the videos!