From Being Color Blind to Now Color Brave

From Being Color Blind to Now Color Brave

In May of 2014 in Vancouver, Canada,  investment expert Mellody Hobson took to the TED 2014 stage to talk about being brave. Being conversationally and socially brave, she dared to talk about race, as uncomfortable as that topic may be, standing firmly on the belief that this conversational “third rail” is the only way that to break free of the walls that racial divides have created in the United States. Recent events, ranging from those in Ferguson, Missouri to Sanford, Florida, have proven that the way we attempt to traverse our racial and cultural differences needs to change.

Anecdotally, Hobson takes us on a journey through moments when people have been called upon to challenge societal norms and comfort levels. Her challenge for us all is to be color brave and not color blind. Further, the concept of being “color blind” can lead to forgetfulness. It can cause us to forget that there may be races and nationalities who aren’t included in spaces and places we normally find ourselves in. To create the best community, Hobson contends, we have to include these individuals, we have to include all individuals. It has been proven that diversity leads to the most successful business, living, and educational settings.

Hobson draws our attention to how, from classrooms to boardrooms, today’s racial divide has the possibility of holding back yet another generation in the margins of our educational institutions and corporations. We must not be blind, but be brave, in order to stop the cycle.

Her talk has garnered both thumbs ups and thumbs downs on the TED YouTube channel. As she notes, race is a touchy subject and there are people who don’t want to talk about it. More importantly, they don’t want it talked about. For those who sit quietly by, perhaps it is time to join this important conversation.

Decide for yourself, watch her TED talk here.


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M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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10 TED Talks Curated to Inspire Your Year

10 TED Talks Curated to Inspire Your Year

As you get into the thick of January and attempt to face the cold and keep the dreams for this year alive, here is a playlist curated by TED to help you refocus on your values and fan the flame of creativity. Highlights include a talk by Kelly McGonigal about how to make stress your friend. She will turn your fear of stress into a motivation to use it to your advantage. Verna Myers shares about walking boldly towards overcoming bias and embracing diversity. To finish the series, Andy Puddicombe encourages a mindful practice and how even just 10 minutes can change your outlook.

Prepare to be inspired, challenged, and engaged. Ready, go!




Nia_Baker_BioPicNia Baker has been thrilled to serve as the TEDxPeachtree Content Manager this year. Having roots in Atlanta almost ten years, she has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last five, focusing on effective systems and creative communication. She will complete her Masters in Professional Counseling and Trauma Specialization this spring and believes in the dignity of each experience. Nia enjoys running past Atlanta street art, steaming French press coffee, and a really effective adjective.



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Keeping Your TEDxPeachtree Light Shining with Gratitude

Keeping Your TEDxPeachtree Light Shining with Gratitude


It has been one month since the Buckhead Theatre was taken over by a group of men and women to hear from a small number of wonderers, innovators, and tinkerers. TEDxPeachtree 2014 Illuminate held the minds of its audience captive with new ideas in science, health, community building, and dance. Yes, talking dogs, origami in space, and leaps in cancer research have a way of grabbing your attention, but now what? We’ll have to wait another year until the next TEDxPeachtree. The cold weather is settling in and the early darkness that results from the end daylight savings time has commenced. A bit of illumination would be nice right about now.

If you are in need of some light at the end of this blustery tunnel, check out these TED talks. Guaranteed to brighten your spirit, they may even kick off your list of what you are thankful for this upcoming Turkey Day. There is nothing more energizing than the light that comes from within. These talks can help you create some inspiration for your own continued motivation.

Tania Luna’s TED@New York‘s tale of gratitude and finding value in the smallest things reminds us that you don’t need a pile of cash to feel like a millionaire. Be illuminated from her unique perspective, her journey from a small town in Russia to a homeless shelter in America. From all of ver travels Tania has been able to see the blessings we often overlook.

The truth is that caring, knowing and acting upon what other people think about us can be completely scary. Brené Brown, in her 2010 TEDxHouston talk, speaks on how to turn the concept of shame into the beauty of vulnerability and be grateful for who we really are.

Sometimes we look backward and are grateful for a stroke of luck that has come our way. In his TEDMED 2012 talk, Ed Gavagan shines a light on the moments that test us, when we beat the odds and why we should always “push back against the chaos.”

At TEDGlobal 2013, Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast teaches us about the root of all happiness – gratitude. In this lesson – take the time to see the wonderful things in your world and be present in the gift your days bring to you – Steindl-Rast gives us the key to true happiness.

What TED or TEDx talks have illuminated your lives in ways you never predicted?


M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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Illuminating Global Healthcare Solutions: 50 Cent Microscopes to Save Millions of Lives

Illuminating Global Healthcare Solutions: 50 Cent Microscopes to Save Millions of Lives

Accurate and prompt diagnosis of diseases including malaria, giardiasis, African sleeping sickness, and chagas is critical if we are to reduce the millions of deaths per year that these illnesses cause. The most essential piece of equipment to illuminate rapid diagnosis is the microscope.

Two little boys doing biochemistry research at the lab. Isolated

First introduced in 1800, it hasn’t changed much since then, it’s still heavy, awkward, clunky, difficult to transport, expensive, and requires training to use. It’s a piece of equipment that is clearly not well suited to work in developing countries with limited budgets and rough working conditions.

Two of physicist Manu Prakash’s students in his Stanford University research lab took on the challenge. They developed a paper-based foldable microscope that costs just 50 cents. Perhaps even more amazing is that it is infinitely more durable than a traditional microscope. And they took it even further, developing more than one kind to provide access to multiple lens types for a variety of diagnoses. Their engineering ingenuity illuminates lifesaving opportunities for millions of people worldwide, for mere pennies.

They didn’t stop there. The students produced this with no written instructions to circumvent language barriers and instead used simple color coding to illustrate how to put it together. The microscope accepts standard slides just as any other microscope would.

Instead of a box, or crate if several traditional microscopes were being shipped, the read to assemble punch out microscopes can be delivered in an envelope or a mere file folder, and no complex use instructions are necessary. At the time of his TEDtalk, June 2012, they were going to press with thousands for the first time to use in trials around the world, astounding, ingenious, and lifesaving all for a price less than a cup of coffee.

Watch Manu Prakash’s talk below to hear about this life-saving creation.


Melissa Galt_072213_0429



A success strategist, speaker, and author, Melissa Galt inspires, leads, and coaches entrepreneurs into achieving outrageous success and building an awesome life.



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