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Trish Millines Dziko

Meet Trish Millines Dziko: co-founder of Technology Access Foundation, and a passionate advocate for developing the genius in all children in our public schools. At least once a year, Trish has a moment where she realizes she is doing exactly what she was meant to do.

Raised with the belief that we have a responsibility to care for our communities, Trish is inspired by James Baldwin’s words, “For these are all our children. We will profit by, or pay for, whatever they become.”

Twenty-five years ago, Trish was traveling the country for Microsoft, recruiting college-level, technically-trained people of color, but finding only a small pool of candidates. Seeing this shortage, and reflecting on her own experience being discriminated against for her race and gender in the work world, Trish was inspired. She embarked on her own mission to ensure students of color have opportunities in the booming tech fields and that companies create environments where they can thrive.

With a commitment to recognizing and developing the genius in all children, Trish co-founded the Seattle-based Technology Access Foundation (TAF), a nonprofit that creates access to transformative systems of learning for students and teachers of color to eliminate race-based disparities in our increasingly diverse society.

Through Trish’s leadership as Executive Director, TAF became a statewide leader in public education, creating 2 co-managed public schools, partnering with public schools to promote the highest level of student learning, and increasing the number of teachers of color through the Martinez Fellowship. Trish has been recognized for her work with numerous awards including the YWCA Dorothy I Height Racial Justice Award, US News 100 Women Leaders in STEM, Seattle Business Magazine Tech Impact Champion, and Senator Maria Cantwell Women of Valor Award.

Where we are, Trish believes, is a moment of possibility, a crucial moment where - if we act quickly and with strength - we can transform our public schools to get rid of deficit thinking and focus instead on what would happen if every child had what they need to succeed.

Mónica Guzmán

Meet Mónica Guzmán: journalist, author, juror for previous Pulitzer prizes, and Digital Director at Braver Angels, a nonprofit for bridging the partisan divide. Ignoring a high school career survey that indicated she stay away from communications, Mónica followed her gut.

Describing Mónica as a journalist seems to fall short of capturing the impressive accomplishments and endeavors she’s undertaken in her career. She’s been a journalist for over 16 years, jumping right into her passion fresh out of Bowdoin College and earning her chops by working her way as a columnist for the Seattle Times, GeekWire, The Columbia Journalism Review, and The Daily Beast.

As early in her career as a Cops Reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Mónica has understood a fundamental practice in journalism is being able to separate the person from the action in order to allow conversations to occur without judgement, and in that space is where curiosity has the opportunity to thrive.

Energized and inspired by the challenges society faces, Mónica Guzmán has written the soon-to-be-published book for remaining curious in divided times. She has served as Vice-Chair of the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee, wrote the closing chapter in “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century,” and was a juror for the 2013 and 2014 Pulitzer Prizes.

A daughter to proud Mexican immigrants, Mónica is the Director of Digital & Storytelling at Braver Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the partisan divide, and is the co-founder and former Director of the Evergrey, a Seattle-based newsletter, where she took risks to remain true to her craft.

Melissa Miranda

Meet Melissa Miranda: Part restaurant owner, part chef, part storyteller, educator and counselor. Through Musang, a Filipino restaurant in Seattle’s Beacon Hill, Melissa not only pays tribute to childhood flavors and memories, she also serves a path to change.

Melissa opened Musang in January 2020—that is right before the COVID pandemic. While some may have written the launch off as bad timing, Melissa chose to embrace change. Through hard work, some smart pivots and her tight-knit community, she pulled her business and all who were counting on her through.

It’s change that got her here in the first place: She embraced it when she moved to Italy to go to culinary school. She later adapted to the fast-paced life of New York City’s culinary scene before returning to Seattle, her hometown, to kick off Musang as a pop-up restaurant.

Part of Musang's perseverance can be attributed to Melissa’s outlook. Ever inspired to create new, better work, she believes that Musang can be more than a restaurant: It’s also a community space, free meal program, and most importantly, a personal tribute to Filipino cuisine and childhood memories. Melissa is also more than a restaurant owner and head chef: She’s a storyteller, educator, and at times even a counselor to her staff, her guests, and the children she teaches at Little Wildcats, Musang’s children’s cooking program. With Melissa’s values at the center of everything she creates, community and resilience remain the driving forces behind Musang.

Marshall Law Band

Meet the Marshall Law Band: a good-vibe-inspiring Seattle-based band delivering messages of peace and resilience during trying times. They’re regarded as the activist soundtrack to the Black Lives Matter movement, and you may find them touring the city on their parade float, the S.S. Jelly Bean, or collaborating at the Collective over some vegan empanadas.

The five-year-old funk-hop six-piece started putting their music together in 2017 after discovering each other’s hidden musical talents by happenstance. The group’s music focuses on individual empowerment and positive community change, using their raw lyrics and talents as a catapult for other people’s voices and passions to speak to the times at hand. As community leaders, the Band has organized and managed events such as Fremont Fridays (which lasted 16 straight sold out weeks and featured over 100 artists), Splash Fest, Emerald City Gala, Culture Fest, and a Hip-Opera (debuting in 2017).

Set to kick off a national tour when the pandemic hit, the Marshall Law Band spent their quarantine the only way they knew how: by moving in together and collaborating daily. Crafting 12 new songs and taking their experiences at CHOP, the Band wrote and recorded their 12th and Pine LP over a two-week span. This became an album, graphic novel, and documentary, produced by Jack Endino and considered for a Pulitzer Prize. They would soon find themselves poised at the forefront of the BLM movement in downtown Seattle, playing a show a night over 11 days, taking breaks to hand out water and food and hold the line at the barricades with other protesters.

Understanding the risk, the Marshall Law Band braved threats of violence, tear gas, and exhaustion to spread their message that everything is going to be alright and that unity will change the world for the better by focusing on the next play and asking: What is the effect you’re trying to cause?

Margaret Levi

Meet Margaret Levi: professor, author, and advocate for democracy who believes the decline of unions creates real problems for our society. She asserts the need for new forms of labor organization appropriate for our times.

Margaret has dedicated much of her career championing the worker’s voice. Born in thepost-World War II era, she grew up living in the shadow of the holocaust and with the existential threat of a nuclear disaster constantly looming around the corner. The McCarthy era, a time when conspiratorial theories ran rampant, coincided with the civil rights movement, Margaret recalls her mother taking her and her sister to civil rights marches at young ages. As a teenager, she joined the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and listened in awe as Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Having experienced history as it was being written provides Margaret with a unique perspective on how to reconstruct democracy to make it viable for today’s time and age. She wants us to think about how we reconstruct our political economic framework so that it is actually suited to the way the economy works now and the problems people want and need to solve.

Margaret Levi has been a distinguished professor of political science for almost 50 years. She spent most of her career with the University of Washington keeping an eye on the labor movement. As Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and Professor of Political Science, Stanford University. Margaret Levi is the author of numerous books, ran the Center for Labor Studies, and started The Brand Responsibility Project. She is the winner of the Skytte Prize, considered the Nobel in political science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lynda Stuart

Meet Lynda Stuart: Deputy Director at the Gates Foundation, a doctor, and a passionate advocate for healthcare as a human right. Through this year’s TEDXSeattle talk, she asks if we realize we’re living through one of mankind’s greatest moral failings when it comes to healthcare.

Dr. Lynda Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean where she watched her father, also a doctor, care for their poverty-stricken community. Experiencing first-hand how access to quality healthcare and medication is essential to helping people lift themselves from poverty, Lynda became driven by an endless search for impact in the world as she champions the motto “Health is a Human Right.”

She migrated to England when she was 10, focusing her attention on healthcare, she earned a P.h.D. from the University of Edinburgh, M.D. from the University of Cambridge and the University of London. Dr. Stuart has served on the Massachusetts General Hospital Executive Committee for Research and as an affiliate of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

As the Deputy Director for Vaccines & Human Immunology at the Gates Foundation, she leads a team that aims to source novel approaches and accelerate the discovery, development, and translation of new passive and active immunization strategies for foundation priority diseases.

Join Dr. Lynda Stuart at this year’s TEDxSeattle as she explains why we are at an inflection point as a global community. How we choose to behave and what we choose to do as a global world is going to define things for many years to come.

K. Killian Noe

Meet K. Killian Noe: author, pastor, community builder, and co-founder of the Recovery Café. Get to know her and you’ll get the sense that she thinks you’re an amazing person. She will see the best in you. She sees the best in everyone.

Killian co-founded the Recovery Café in 2002 to serve those experiencing trauma, homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. The Café helps those suffering in these ways transform their lives through the power of authentic community. At their ninth cohort launch on Oct 25, 2021, there will be 37 cafes across the United States and Vancouver, B.C., making up the Recovery Cafe Network.

Killan has been inspired by communities she has spent time with all over the world, including Mother Theresa’s sisters in Calcutta and the Joweto community in South Africa, who are committed to racial reconciliation. She has since spent most of her adult life connecting people who have been disconnected and conjuring communities where there are none. She co-founded Samaritan Inns, a network of transitional and long-term healing communities, and has built and led faith communities that cross racial, socio-economic, religious and political barriers.

Killian’s work has come with ups, downs and losses, but it’s the shared experience of community that she’s helped build, coupled with lots of joy and laughter that keep her going. As we all grapple with loss, disconnection, and isolation, Killian offers a refreshing antidote: We humans are all connected to each other. What affects one of us, affects us all—and we all deserve to be known and loved.

James Whitfield

Meet James Whitfield: a pickleball obsessed, husband/father/son, culture strategist, and community leader advancing justice and reconciliation by building Beloved Community.

As the Co-Founder of Be Culture, James equips leaders to reimagine 'equity', setting tables for people of differing and sometimes polarized perspectives to find shared purpose and be the culture they wish to see.

Working alongside Kristen - his business partner, favorite human, and wife of 29 years - James mobilizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in companies and communities - deepening personal, professional, and societal bonds by advocating a higher standard of love and loyalty.

James Whitfield has received numerous accolades for his public speaking, training, and civic engagement. He is noted for employing a decidedly multi-disciplinary approach based on his broad experience as an executive in business, non-profit, and government - including having been appointed by the White House to oversee the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Grab your favorite person and join James Whitfield at this year’s TEDxSeattle. See how you can build a more loving community through a better understanding of equity in DEI and your personal relationships.

Brian Hastert

Meet Brian Hastert: a storyteller, educator, actor, and podcaster urging us to use our imagination to solve the biggest issues in society. He’s challenging us to build a narrative that focuses on the best future we can imagine, and then vote locally to make it our reality.

An avid advocate for democracy, Brian spent part of the 2020 pandemic lockdown hosting a live streamed event called #HoldTheFloor, in which he led a community filibuster for 24 hours and 19 minutes and broke the record for the longest filibuster in US Senate history, held by Strom Thurmond, who, in a monument to white supremacy, attempted to block passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1958.

Out of that event grew the podcast Local Selection, in which Brian interviews state and local level officials about who is and who is not being heard in their communities. He highlights the awesome power of these often overlooked offices and the personalities that are drawn to use them to ensure that everyone is given the dignity of a voice in the democratic process.

As an actor with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, Brian has worked on television and stages around the world, and co-founded Brooklyn-based ensemble theater company The TEAM, who The Guardian describes as “theatrical excavators of American culture, American dreams, and the American psyche.” As an educator, Brian was an assistant professor of acting and the founding program head of Pace University’s BFA in Acting for Film, Television, Voice Over, and Commercials.

As a podcaster, Brian hopes to inspire and empower people to vote locally and to understand that their voice is important and their vote can quite literally save lives.

Benicio Bryant

Meet Benicio: teenager, musician, performer, and one of this year’s TEDxSeattle entertainers! Just like his passion for music, Benicio holds authenticity close to his heart. “I feel like this is really it. That this is what I was put on this Earth to do.”

The 16-year-old Seattle native performed at his first talent show when he was just eight, and then, anywhere he could — at coffee shops, at farmer’s markets, and on YouTube. It was there he was scouted to compete on The Voice Kids in Germany and later, grew to prominence when he was a finalist on Season 14 of America’s Got Talent. After the show, he signed to Simon Cowell’s record label and jumped headfirst into making music. His confidence grew, his talent only shined brighter, and he threw himself into writing his own music more than ever.

When the pandemic hit, he invested in a home studio and continued to collaborate via zoom with writers and producers to work on his craft. His recent single “Sorry” is one he’s most proud of — having written and produced it solely on his own. When creating he’s constantly reminding himself to “just be yourself.” He said, “I’ve kinda given up on what people think about what I wear or what I do with my hair.” “You have one life.” He continued. “Does it really matter what random strangers think about you?” Wise words from a teenager that we could all use in an age ‘where we are’ constantly comparing and concerned about what others think.

Benicio is excited to take the TEDxSeattle stage as an entertainer at this year’s event. His favorite thing about music is its ability to inspire connection, kindness, and simply make people happy. “It’s not even tangible.” He said. “It’s just sounds that bring out all these raw emotions and bring people together.” And we all could use more of that.

Oh, and his favorite Seattle music venue you ask? The (iconic) Moore Theatre.

Andrew Himes

Meet Andrew Himes: advocate for social justice, co-founder of Microsoft Developer Network, and Director of Collective Impact at Carbon Leadership Forum. To tackle climate change, he wants us to dream big and embrace Goethe's words: "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it."

With his passion for addressing climate change and demand for social responsibility, Andrew asserts that where we are now is one of the most dangerous and promising moments in all of human history. Andrew says that many of us may feel that the issue of climate change is massive and global, and that there’s nothing we can do to make a difference.

But our built environment -- the largest overall contributor to greenhouse gas emissions -- can be either an existential threat or the source of transformative solutions to climate change. We can radically reduce carbon pollution and even store large amounts of carbon in buildings and infrastructure -- permanently. But it will take millions of people demanding and creating solutions, working together in communities, simultaneously, toward one goal. We already have the innovative solutions we need. What happens next, he believes, is up to us.

Driven by his involvement in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s, Andrew believes the number one social justice issue in the world is the climate, because the people most harmed by climate change will be those most marginalized and most deeply disempowered.

After an accomplished career in tech (Himes was the founding editor of leading Apple technology journal MacTech and co-founder of the Microsoft Developer Network) Andrew was founding director for Charter for Compassion International, then created Carbon Innovations LLC, a social impact consultancy focused on business-based solutions to climate change. In 2018, he was coordinator of Carbon Smart Building Day, a conference affiliated with the Global Climate Action Summit focused on transforming the global building industry to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. His current role at UW involves leading industry-wide initiatives to reduce embodied carbon emissions in built environments.