The TEDx Erie event “Bridges over Barriers” will be held from 1-5:30 p.m. Saturday at McDowell High School’s Little Theatre.
The annual Erie event will focus on bringing people of different backgrounds together rather than pushing them apart.
According to Linda Fleming, Ph.D., the dean of Gannon University’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS), the theme of “Bridges over Barriers” closely relates with the overarching theme of CHESS, “Surviving and Thriving in Uncertain Times.” She said that, through combining the efforts of CHESS and the TEDx Erie organization, the themes could support each other.
The event will feature several speakers and performers. Among these speakers is RJ Messenger, an Erie native and the co-owner of Iron Empire Clothing. Performing during the event will be Leeanna Golembiewski, an original solo acoustic artist, singer and songwriter from Erie.
The speakers and performers will each give their stories of struggles and perseverance. According to Fleming, the speakers have gone through many months of preparation, including auditions and working with coaches from TEDx.
Jonathan D’Silva, the lead curator of TEDx Erie, said that the speakers and performers are not being paid or paying to take part in the show. TEDx Erie is a volunteer event and is open to those who are willing to work hard to bring the event to life.
D’Silva said that he hopes the event will allow attendees to get a behind-the-scenes feel for what it means to put on this kind of show.
“I hope that the attendees come with an open mind to experience what it’s like to put on what you end up seeing on a TED or TEDx video,” he said.
Fleming said that she hopes those who attend will come out of the event with a different perspective.
“I hope that students are inspired by some of the stories, that they listen with an open mind and link the information to their own lives and experiences, and come away with inspiration to do something or think differently,” she said.
Fleming said that students should attend this event to gain more knowledge about the people in Erie who are successful and helping the community.
She said that one goal of a college education is to allow students to experience as much as possible.
The van to the event will leave campus at 12:30 p.m. Saturday from the Gannon Arch. Students who wish to reserve a seat on the van may contact Ashley Lawson at [email protected] to do so.
The Dean’s office has a limited amount of free tickets for the event. These tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Admission to the event will be $20 at the door, or through the TEDx Erie website at www.tedxerie.com.