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TEDxCSULB Conference Returns

Published: April 3, 2017

After its successful debut last year, the student-organized TEDxCSULB conference returns to campus on Sunday, April 9, beginning at 1 p.m. in the University Student Union Ballrooms. This year’s conference theme is “Threads Undone,” which will deal with the different ways in which individuals can break the tensions created by conflicting ideologies.

The TEDx conference was brought to campus in 2016 when student Matthew Argame saw the CSULB community had the potential to become a hub for creative ideas.

During his sophomore year, Argame gained the support of late CSULB provost David Dowell and, with the help of an executive team and hundreds of volunteers, was able to produce the first-ever TEDx conference at CSULB.

Camille Raquel, a second-year Master of Social Work student at CSULB, is the president and curator for TEDxCSULB 2017 and, along with her executive team, has been working towards the production of this year’s conference since July.

Some of the members of the team this year include Sia Turay, civil engineering student and Director of Finance and Sponsorship; Kat Nguyen, communication studies major and Director of Events and Activities; Director of Logistics and Operations and supply chain management student Cliff Johnson; and Director of Marketing and systems information major Eric Crenshaw.

Raquel and her team strive to create a community-based event that will benefit and educate all those who attend.

“We took a lot of feedback from the campus community in curating and putting this together,” said Raquel. “We wanted to bring the voice back to the community.”

The team received more than 100 applications from potential speakers, including students, staff, alumni, faculty and even applicants from across the country. After much deliberation, 10 speakers were chosen for this year’s TEDxCSULB conference. In 2016, 15 individuals spoke at the event.

“We chose applicants who had an idea or message that was very relevant to the Long Beach community,” said Raquel. “We’re using the stage, or the red circle, as a platform that we hope will reveal a new way of thinking.”

Some of the members of the CSULB community who will be featured in the “Threads Undone” conference include Aeia Abas, a CSULB sociology and public relations student and Service Vice President for the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity on campus, and John Paul Higgins, Assistant Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and professor in the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.

Other speakers visiting the campus for the conference include 10-year-old Genesis Butler, an animal rights activist and ethical vegan, and Chris Tompkins, who teaches self-empowerment and confidence building in high schools and afterschool programs. The rest of the lineup includes speakers of diverse fields of study such as regenerative design, psychology and abstract art. For the full list of speakers, click here.

Not only is this a great opportunity for students and members of the community, but it also brings recognition to CSULB.

“TED is a renowned name, and that’s what we strive for,” said Raquel. “We’re trying to bring visibility to our campus.”

Raquel also emphasized the importance of making this event accessible to the CSULB campus community, which is why student admission starts at $15, while general admission is $50.

“This will always be for students,” said Raquel.

For more information on the 2017 TEDxCSULB “Threads Undone” conference, click here to visit its website or follow its Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities, or have any questions, you can email TEDx@csulb.edu.