I can’t even begin to explain how inspirational this years TEDxRochester was for me. On Saturday, November 15th, Tep and I went to beautiful East High School to experience this years event. It was the amazing Tony Karakashian’s last year as an organizer. He certainly went out with a bang! From the moment I walked in my brain was reeling with ideas for how we can make our event better. Tony is very considerate of the community and this event was no different than those in the past. He is a networker and a connector.

My two favorite talks of the day were by Tiffany Staropoli and Matthew Spaull (an AC grad). Tiffany’s talk was about changing perceptions about cancer. So often our society refers to their battles, wars, and fights against cancer. She sited that these words can raise levels of cortisol in the body. This can prevent our immune system from functioning properly. Instead of crying or fighting Tiffany chose to dance. One rainy day her husband knew how badly she needed to dance, pulled over the car, and instructed her to get out and move. She did so begrudgingly and it helped. I loved her positive attitude and how she chose to change her vocabulary surrounding stage 4 colon cancer.

Matthew Spaull took us on an unforgettable cinematic journey through the eyes of a young black man in the City of Rochester. He started up a cinematography class at the Center For Youth (New Beginnings School). His pupils turned the cameras on themselves as they reflected on their lives, hopes, fears, and dreams. The film, If Our Streets Could Talk, was deeply moving. When it was over two of the young men from the film joined Matthew on stage. This brought the entire audience to their feet. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. 

As far as vendors I have to shine a special spotlight on Tiny Fish Printing for their on demand teeshirt printing set up. They do an amazing job and I loved watching them pull screen printed shirts as they were purchased. 

Well done! 

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