TEDxColumbiaUniversity 2019 Speakers

Rachél Oatis

Rachél Oatis

Host

Rachel C. Oatis is a skilled leader with enthusiasm for creating social change in America’s educational system. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Nonprofit Management at Columbia University School of Professional Studies where she is also a HBCU Fellow.

Anansa Benbow

Anansa Benbow

Student Speaker

Anansa is currently a second-year M.A. student studying Applied Linguistics at Teachers College. Anansa is fueled by the power that language has in including and empower others, particularly multilingual learners and speakers of non-standard dialects of English in the K-12 setting. She believes that nuances of communication are vital in humanizing, affirming, and validating our lives.

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown

Speaker

Ashley Brown is currently performing with The Dynamite Experience (Winston Brown), Dance Into Deliverance (Jessica Ray) and Matia Johnson when she is not creating work of her own. Ashley has worked with Shining Light for the last two years as a dance team leader for their 2-week Impact workshop held in male and female jail and prison facilities in primarily Pennsylvania, and the Tri-state area.

Cocovan

Cocovan

Speaker

Cocovan is a French-Iranian performance artist and musician, and the founder of the participatory art project The World Letter.

Lorén Cox

Lorén Cox

Speaker

Dr. Lorén Cox is an advocate for educational equity, believing we owe all students the opportunity to succeed.  She currently manages the federal policy and advocacy portfolio for a large national non-profit. Dr. Cox previously served as the Senior Education Policy Advisor for UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latinx civil rights organization—and as a member of the Obama Administration’s community solutions team.

Noelle Demole

Noelle Demole

Student Speaker

Noelle Demole is a 26 year-old Swiss-born student at Columbia University doing her Master's degree in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution at the School of Professional Studies. Demole holds a Bachelor degree in International Relations from EU Business School, in Switzerland, with a focus on the issue of human trafficking and the global sex trade through the writing of her thesis. She is also the founder of her own humanitarian organization called Shere Khan's Youth Protection helping teenagers in the south of India to study in order to become financially independent.

Megha Desai

Megha Desai

Speaker

President of the Desai Foundation, an organization that empowers women and children through community programming to elevate health and livelihood both in the US and in India. Megha is also a singer, impact advisor, branding expert, podcast enthusiast, NE Patriots fan and godmother.

Jason Friesen

Jason Friesen

Speaker

Jason Friesen is the founder of Trek Medics International, a nonprofit that improves emergency medical systems in communities with limited resources through innovative mobile phone technologies.

Michael Hanegan

Michael Hanegan

Speaker

Michael Hanegan is a theologian whose research centers on the ways in which communities, particularly Christian communities, can think about the prevention of trauma and suffering as a mechanism of systemic social change. His work especially centers around the trauma experienced by children and the ways in which their protection and the prevention of trauma and suffering can revolutionize societies. An interdisciplinary theologian by training, Michael has also served as an ordained minister, and a senior faith engagement official for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Marquina Iliev-Piselli

Marquina Iliev-Piselli

Speaker

Marquina Iliev-Piselli is a Digital Marketer and the Founder of AuthorpreneurLaunch.com. She helps authors feel empowered, not overwhelmed, by marketing. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (Go Blue!), she has a Masters from Columbia University in Instructional Technology & Media. After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, she created The Glam Chemo project as well as The Women's Empowerment Project at Weill Cornell. Her current project, Share Triumph, is a platform to support and encourage other cancer survivors and thrivers.

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