The U.S. holds only five percent of the global population but 25% of the incarcerated population. Jordan believes we can transform our society and better understand the mass incarceration problem that exists here by putting a face to these statistics. Some of the most positive disruptors are those working at Marion Correctional Institution (MCI), a 2,700-men prison in Marion, Ohio. Officials there use Skype to facilitate conversations between audiences and incarcerated men; the resulting conversations on incarceration, justice, and humanity have the unique power to build empathy, understanding, and awareness of our shared humanity.
About Jordan: While an undergrad at Ohio State, Jordan Edelheit fell in love with TED’s mission of “ideas worth spreading” and began organizing TEDx events. In addition to TEDxOhioStateUniversity, Jordan was on the founding team of the first TEDx to take place in an adult prison, TEDxMarionCorrectional. She has since spent the past three years striving to learn and share stories within the justice system, and now works with The Mayerson Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio leading their young professional and social change programs. She is inspired by countless incarcerated men who lead by example that spoken word poetry can be a tool of expression, possibly even the answer to sharing our most random beautiful thoughts. Jordan believes in building empathy by listening to one story at a time. She finds herself smiling most after experiencing shared humanity in unexpected spaces . . . like prison.
Americans have been taught a shallow and simple narrative of the history of Native Americans and the history of our country. Shallow narratives are satisfying and allow us to feel good about our history as a nation, but they can cause our approach to contemporary issues to be uninformed and even misinformed. Kevin will discuss fearlessly embracing the larger, messier, more complex truths of our history.
About Kevin: Kevin Gover is the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Gover began as director in December 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and his Juris Doctor degree in 1981 from the University of New Mexico College of Law.
Gover returned to New Mexico in 1986, where he established Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C., which grew into the largest Indian-owned law firm in the country and represented tribes and tribal agencies in a dozen states. His advocacy brought him to the attention of the Clinton White House, and in 1997, Gover was nominated by President Clinton to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the United States Department of the Interior. His tenure as Assistant Secretary is perhaps best-known for his apology to Native American people for the historical conduct of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Upon leaving office, Gover resumed the practice of law and served on the faculty of Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Program. Throughout his professional career, Gover has given freely of his time, serving on several committees of the Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association, as well as on a number of non-profit boards.
Our 2015 theme video, directed and produced by Keegan Anfuso. http://keagananfuso.com
Canary in the Coalmine is an Americana Folk band based out of Jacksonville, Florida. A haunting quality underscores striking vocal harmonies that provide a focal point for the band’s signature sound. The band released their first full-length album “Who Fears the Devil?” in March of 2015. Because of the vast collection of musical influences the writers share, Canary’s sound is a melding together of different genres of American roots music, including Country, Bluegrass, Old Spirituals, and Appalachian Folk, tinged with the flavors of blues, soul, and a little bit of rock and roll.
Canary in the Coalmine has been garnering local and regional attention within the Jacksonville area and beyond, performing at Suwanee Springfest and Magnolia Festival and recently completing a mini tour to support their album release. Canary has performed for and worked in collaboration with many noteworthy Jacksonville establishments, including the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, MOCA, Springfield Porchfest, and Riverside Avondale Preservation, and has plans of continuing to grow and spread their music throughout the Southeast.
Complicated Animals is the Brazilian & American duo of Monica da Silva and Chad Alger. Mixing breezy Indie Pop and Vintage Brazilian Bossa Nova, they’ve created their own unique genre, Indie Nova. Complicated Animals’ music has been featured on ESPN during the World Cup 2014, and licensed by Putumayo World Music for their compilation “Brazilian Beat.” They just released a new EP, “In This Game,” which premiered on PopMatters and NPR.
The Ritz Chamber Players is hailed by The Baltimore Sun as “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years.” Boasting some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora, it brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. Its members perform with prestigious organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony. The following three members of the Players will perform at TEDxJacksonville 2015:
Kelly Hall-Tompkins – Violin: One of New York City’s most in-demand violinists, Kelly Hall-Tompkins’ dynamic career spans solo, chamber, and orchestral performance. She earned a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the mentorship of Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.
Orlando Wells – Violin/Viola: A native of Orange, NJ, Orlando Wells began studying the violin at the age of 9. Mr. Wells attended S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. He has performed frequently on Broadway, and currently is the violist on the new Broadway show Crybaby. He has collaborated with musicians of many different genres and styles, including John Legend, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Kanye West, Marvin Hamlish, the Akua Dixon Swing Quartet and Sojourner Strings.
Tahirah Whittington – Cello: Tahirah Whittington, originally from Houston, TX, has performed for audiences all over the world. Solo engagements include a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, as a result of winning 1st prize at the 1999 Sphinx Competition. Ms. Whittington received her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Joel Krosnick, and received her Bachelor’s Degree at the New England Conservatory as a student of Laurence Lesser. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, with Hans Jensen.
Wise River is a 3 piece dream-pop/synth-pop band fronted by brother and sister duo John and Laura Shannon from Jacksonville, FL. All three members also perform together in the indie-folk band Fort Stories. Wise River focuses on combining digital and analog instruments, effects, noise, and samples to create a sound that is all at once dreamy, experimental, and catchy.
The performers of TEDxJacksonville 2015 take the stage to do a rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird.
Collaboration by Canary in the Coalmine, Peter Carney, Ritz Chamber Players & Wise River.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx