TEDxJacksonville announces 13 speakers for 2017 conference

Tickets for 'We, The People' conference go on sale Wednesday morning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The speaker lineup for this year’s TEDxJacksonville conference includes an Olympian, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, innovative educators, an environmental journalist, an expert on the opioid epidemic and the founder of popular local charity K9s for Warriors.

The 13 speakers and three musical performers for the 2017 conference, titled “We, The People,” will take the Florida Theatre stage Saturday, Oct. 14.

Hope McMath returns as host of the daylong conference, which will also feature interactive engagement activities on Forsyth Street, coffee, lunch and the Afterglow Party.

General admission tickets to the all-day conference, which goes from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., are $100, and can be purchased here: bit.ly/WeThePeopleTEDxJAX. Session 3 tickets are available for the first time this year for $49 apiece. All ticket-holders gain admittance to the post-event street party Afterglow in front of the Florida Theatre.

TEDxJacksonville will offer discounted tickets for 50 high school students and 50 college students at $39 each -- thanks to sponsors Jacksonville System of Care Initiative and Michael and Julie McKinney, the group said.

The annual conference, now in its sixth year, has sold out every year since its inception as the TEDxRiversideAvondale conference in 2012.

For this year’s conference, TEDxJacksonville is partnering with several downtown restaurants to provide lunch in their venues, which are within walking distance of the Florida Theatre. The confirmed participating restaurants are:

  • Bellwether
  • Burrito Gallery
  • Casa Dora Italian Cafe
  • D&G Deli & Grille
  • Indochine
  • Olio
  • Spliff’s Gastropub
  • Super Food & Brew

Biscottis and NOLA MOCA will also cater food for the event. Lunch selections are available first-come, first-served with limited capacity at each venue.

For more on the “We, The People” theme of this year’s conference, go to http://tedxjacksonville.com/annual-conference-2017.

Below is information provided by TEDxJacksonville for this year’s speakers and musical acts.

Conference speakers:

  • Cynthia Barnett, Gainesville — An environmental journalist and author who has reported on water and climate worldwide, Barnett shares stories of rain to engage people about the weather and climate.
  • Brenda Bradley, Ph.D., Accokeek, Md. — A certified health coach, Dr. Bradley is passionate about sharing new research on eating and helping people avoid excessive weight gain and preventable illnesses.
  • Amy Donofrio, Jacksonville — An educator and advocate for her students who won the national kindness award, Donofrio will discuss the false label of “at-risk youth.” She calls for a culture change in designating these students as at “at-hope youth.”
  • Shari Duval, Jacksonville — Duval founded K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit that has rescued hundreds of dogs and hundreds of veterans, through a program pairing highly trained service dogs with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability and traumatic brain injury.
  • Manal Fakhoury, Pharm.D., Ocala — With experience as a pharmacist and a mentor for prisoners, Fakhoury will share a new perspective on strategies to tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic.
  • Melanie Flores, Atlanta — An MIT graduate and educator, Flores developed a child-friendly version of a world-famous MIT class to demonstrate what children are capable of when storytelling, imagination and design converge.
  • Ellen Freidin, Miami — An attorney and redistricting reform expert who has fought for fair districts, Freidin has seen up close how both Republican and Democratic politicians have used gerrymandering to gain political advantage.
  • Jeff Galloway, Atlanta — A U.S. Olympian who became “America’s Coach” while writing a column for the world’s leading running publication, Galloway has created innovative training methods for runners to reduce aches, pains and injuries.
  • Chris Hand, Jacksonville — An attorney with a long record of public and civic service, as speechwriter for former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and Chief of Staff for former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Hand will share his first-hand knowledge on how to fight City Hall — and win.
  • Chad Houser, Dallas — Houser founded Cafe Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility, that has delivered a transformative experience. Cafe Momentum provides a 12-month internship program for young men and women coming out of juvenile detention.
  • Marc Hudson, Jacksonville — As Land Protection Director at the North Florida Land Trust, Hudson is dedicated to the preservation of the environment and proposes an innovative eco-utility solution that would preserve the environment, put citizens in rural areas to work and improve our green infrastructure.
  • Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Jacksonville — “Dr. Q,” chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Florida, will share his story of growing up as an underprivileged child and migrant worker to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon. He looks to build bridges within institutions and countries through education, patient care and research.
  • Jaimison Sloboden, Jacksonville — A traffic engineer with 24 years of experience in transportation projects, Sloboden knows it’s no accident that Jacksonville and the State of Florida consistently rank among the worst places in America for pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. He shines a light on the steps we must take to inspire change and create “complete streets.”

Live performing acts:

  • Nicolle Guerra, Miami — The sound that is GUERRA emerges from the musical collaboration between vocalist Nicolle Guerra and bassist Ariel DLP. Smooth, funky, soulful and powerful, their sound combines influences propelled by a love for the grooves and rhythms of Cuba, New York City and Miami.
  • Arjola Miruku, Jacksonville — A pianist and nationally certified teacher of music who runs PLAY Academy of Arts, Miruku has instructed musicians at TCU and Texas Wesleyan University as well as in her private studio. In her active performing career, Miruku has served as the featured soloist many times and specializes in both solo and duo piano music.
  • University of North Florida Choral Group, Jacksonville — The UNF choral ensembles have performed with acclaimed guest conductors in the region and in international concerts in Italy, Portugal and South Africa. Under the direction of Dr. Cara Tasher, the UNF Choral Group works to deeply understand the music they sing and the culture from which it came.

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