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TEDx forum coming to Gary on Sept. 11

Idea-driven forum hopes to spark action

Information provided by the Gary 411 Weekly News Magazine

GARY, Ind. (September 5, 2020) – “Gary has been at the forefront of turning ideas into actions,” says McKenya Dilworth, “intellectually, economically, and especially in the performing arts.” Dilworth is curator of the city’s first TEDx forum, coming Friday, September 11 to D Performance Theatre, 500 S. Lake Street.

TEDx is an offshoot of TED, founded in 1984 as a discussion space to talk about ideas in technology, education and design. Today, it has expanded to dozens of topic areas. TEDx forums are local communities adoptions of TED’s mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.”

“Having a TEDx event in Gary is just what is needed to have a platform for ideas from people who have track records of being doers. It goes beyond rhetoric and the usual politics of the day to giving voice to actionable change,” Dilworth said.

Speakers will use 18 minutes or fewer on stage or in video recordings to explain their visions.

Daniel Velasco (Principal at 21st Century High School/Linguist) is one of the speakers. “Velasco brought e-learning to his school before COVID-19. He’s fluent in Chinese and Japanese. Those things distinguish him as an educational leader,” Dilworth said.

Some of the other speakers are Sabrina Haacke (Attorney/Community Leader), Zully Alvarado (All Abilities Advocate), George Rogge (Co-Founder of the Aquatorium/ Nelson Algren Museum), and Chelsea Whittington (CEO of CWHITT Public Relations).

Another speaker, Bahiyah Shabazz (Founder of Brown Girls Do Invest) has a mission to change the financial outlook of women and bring financial awareness to enrich the African American community. She also does workshops and seminars for young black and brown girls. “Shabazz teaches how to create sustainable financial plans instead of relying on grants,” Dilworth said.

Rounding out TEDx are Sue Rutsen (Philanthropist/Co-founder of The Miller Community Fund), Jeffrey G. Smith (Creator of A.N.D. TV/WLTH News Director), Bernard Carter (Prosecutor/Professor), Melissa Hunter Davis (Founder of Sugarcane Magazine) and Karl Ramsey (Architect).

“TEDxGary is all about good ideas that will catapult Gary into the reset posture, ready to succeed, through innovation, creativity and collective hard work,” Dilworth says. “Rejuvenating Gary through innovation is essentially using the resources we have to attract and create the vision for Gary that we want as a community of doers, thinkers and ideapreneurs.”

For more information about TEDx Gary, visit and or call 219-308-7630.

TEDxGary sponsors include Caster Maintenance, The Morning Bishop Theatre Playhouse, Inc., and A.N.D. Television.

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.