Bringing Military and Civilians Together is TEDxTacoma Theme

The American Lake Conference Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be the backdrop during TEDxTacoma on Nov. 16, where speakers will include a variety of people presenting on topics such as diversity, resilience, healing, and character development.

TEDxTacoma is structured like the popular TED talks you may have attended or watched online, except rather than taking a global approach, TEDx versions are community-driven.

The talks are short and to the point, about 5-15 minutes per speaker. The TEDxTacoma experiences in the past have proven to be popular. Tickets this year are $15-$50. The event is from 5-8 p.m. with a VIP experience following until 9 p.m.

This year the theme of TEDxTacoma is “Transitions: Bridging the Gap,” geared toward creating a better understanding between military life and civilian; men and women and neighbors in the South Sound.

“How can we better orient ourselves and our neighbors in our communities, thinking, and experiences? From graduating school to becoming a parent to getting out of the military or beginning a new career path, transitions occur in all phases of life,” the TEDxTacoma organizers explain on their website. “Join us as we learn from members of our community about handling those transitions.”

Tickets for TEDxTacoma can be purchased here.

Meet the speakers:

Abby Murray is an author, educator, and editor in chief of Collateral, a journal that publishes work regarding the impact of violent conflict and military services beyond the combat zone.

Charlie Davis is the CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties and has witnessed resilience and strength of the human spirit during his 35 years with the organization.

Daniella Young is a speaker, writer, and cultural whisperer who grew up in an abusive religious sex cult and escaped when she was 15. She asserts everyone has a compass that can navigate any life transition.

Eric Ballentine is a diversity advocate and Army veteran who received a medical discharge and faced a long road to recovery. Today he is the Veterans of Color program coordinator for Minority Veterans of America and gives time to other organizations.

Jason Alves is a veteran and agriculture advocate who is working to develop a VA Farm in Orting and believes the South Sound offers a plethora of natural resources that can create not only jobs, but opportunities for healing.

Jason Matias is a veteran and a multi-faceted artist who has witnessed a world in transition through his works, and has learned what “beautiful” means.

Jon DeWaal is a life transition guide and learning facilitator who runs Liminal Space, a nonprofit that helps people navigate major life transitions. He’s the host of his own weekly podcast on the subject, too.

Kristine Reeves is the youngest woman and only African American serving in the State House of Representatives. Previously she worked for U.S. Senator Patty Murray.

Lindsay Church is a Navy veteran who is now a diversity advocate and founder of the nonprofit Minority Veterans of America.

Matt Brady is a seasoned combat veteran who was deployed 12 times to Iraq and Afghanistan and commanded forces during multiple high-pressure conflicts including one that was depicted in the movie, Lone Survivor.

Monique Dubose is a motivational speaker, mother, wife, and airmen. Her message is, “You are resilient. And You have the power to bounce back.”

Patricia Davidson is an artist and educator who has developed glass blowing programs in the area for students and soldiers.

Shaun Worthy is an entrepreneur, youth advocate, and Ambassador of Positive Change. He helps kids harness their untapped potential for their greater good and he authored a self-help book.

Suzi LeVine is commissioner of Washington’s Employment Security Department and former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland. With leaderships roles at Expedia and Microsoft, her career has been focused on education, technology, social responsibility and more.

Travis Daigle is a character development coach who has dealt with obesity, personal debt, and other life challenges. He also knows how studying, hard work, and choosing positive personal growth can make a huge difference. He was a Special Forces Medic and is a Combat Veteran.

is the editor in chief at South Sound magazine.
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