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WONGDOODY Women Attend TEDWomen

At the end of November, Skyler and I attended the TEDWomen Conference in Palm Springs. As first timers, I’m going to speak for both of us when I say we’re still recovering. I think it’s called an inspirational hangover.

This year’s theme was “Showing Up,” and from Wednesday through Friday afternoon, about a thousand of us (mostly women, but not all) watched 40 TED talks. That’s FOUR-ZERO, folks. Forty amazing people who showed up from around the globe to share their 18 perfectly crafted minutes, distilled down from a lifetime of struggles, victories and very personal experiences. It. Was. Intense.

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement and impassioned voice for survivors of sexual violence, opened the event with a powerful plea to not become numb to the issues. Stacey Abrams, the gubernatorial candidate from Georgia, sent us out with a voice that rang not of defeat, but of a fire to keep fighting for what’s right.

We also heard from neuroscientists, zoologists, songwriters, child advocates, climate change scientists, grandmothers, engineers, educators, poets, tech leaders, structural biologists, ministers, landscape architects and the first all-female mariachi band. You know, just your average cross-section of underachievers, all working to change the world.

In between sessions, we mingled with female filmmakers, dentists and attorneys, lunched with a colonel who was the first female fighter pilot in the Air Force, and had dinner with leaders of major corporations on one side and motivated up-and-comers on the other.

At the end of the 48 hours, I walked away with a sense of being part of a powerful, positive, like-minded community that crosses gender, racial, socioeconomic and cultural divides. As each of us develops our own world-changing ideas, that community will be there to offer support, guidance and the occasional standing ovation when we need it most.

I’m on it — just as soon as I kick this inspirational hangover.

Jennie Moore

Creative Director