WHS to host its second TEDx event

Pictured above is the TEDx sign for the event. This will be WHSs second TEDx event.

Pictured above is the TEDx sign for the event. This will be WHS’s second TEDx event.

Thomas Chan

Wayland High School will hold its second TEDx event on Saturday, April 2. The event will take place in the auditorium from 5 to 9 p.m. and will include an intermission with food. VIP tickets will be available that will grant closer access to the stage, a personalized pass with his or her name and the event agenda.

TEDx events are independently-run conferences held around the world, inspired by the annual TED conferences. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Senior Gabi Ragazzi obtained a license from TED to host a TEDx conference at the high school.

The theme of this year’s TEDx Talks will be “Rising strong.” Ten out of the 40 people who auditioned were accepted. Several performers auditioned as well. Auditions were held on Nov. 8, 9 and 12.

“To give you a sense of the range [of topics], we have everything from mass incarceration to professional video-gaming and sexual education,” Ragazzi said.

Ragazzi is looking forward to the performances and noted that there are more than last year. Ragazzi believes that it will give the event “different tastes and will make it more lively.”

Senior Josh Lee plans to talk about mass incarceration of people of color in his talk. Lee was inspired by his uncle who was incarcerated for 17 years. He researched prison systems and read Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow.” Lee titled his talk, “The Color of Justice.”

“I really want people to understand that the prison systems in the US are corrupt and that certain ethnicities, mostly people of color and low class, are being targeted at an excessive rate. Then they are jailed for lengthy sentences,” Lee said. “I also want people in a community like Wayland to be empathetic and understanding about issues like this. I find Wayland to be the perfect crowd to address this issue to because the majority of the people here do not have to face issues like this within their families.”

Lee and the other speakers have had many deadlines to meet. They must write and prepare their talks. They meet with coaches to work on their public speaking skills as well. The speakers have about one to two rehearsals each month. They also have get-togethers to help relieve stress and promote bonding.

“Preparing for TEDx has been stressful, but worthwhile. You are writing your talk and in the back of your head you think, ‘What if people don’t like this?’ You are trying to put together a masterpiece that highlights your passion and the idea you believe is worth spreading,” Lee said. “You want people to like it, but you have to be able to take risks and understand that not everyone will agree with what you are saying. People may give you crap, and you will feel attacked, but as long as you stick true to who you are and what you believe in, that’s all that matters.”

Rachel Lorenc (senior)
Joshua Lee (senior)
Larissa Sehringer (senior)
Philip McGonagle (senior)
Lucas Montes-Sosa (junior)
Callie Junkin (junior)
Tyler Johnsen (junior)
Ariella Fuzaylov (junior)
Cameron O’Neill (junior)
Will Barton (freshman)

Naiya Davis and performance team
Gabi Ragazzi and performance team
Abby McCarthy performing slam poetry
David Tisme and performance team
WHS Honors Jazz Band