Women to be celebrated at next TEDxDayton event

Women and their contributions to our world will be celebrated at the first TedxDaytonSalon event of the new year.

TEDxDaytonSalon | Women is slated for 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 at Dayton Metro Library, 215 E Third St. in downtown Dayton.

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Doors open at 8:15 a.m. for light breakfast.

Tickets are $21 and going fast, Diane Farrell, a TEDxDayton steering committee member, said.

Visit tedxdayton.com/salon-women

Farrell said the event is planned on Leap Day ahead of Women's History Month.

One of the goals of the event is to celebrate the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, to give women the right to vote, but she said that’s not the only reason the theme was selected.

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“We just wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate women and talk about women in Dayton,” Farrell said.

Various roles women play in society will be highlighted.

The half-day event will be moderated by Sierra Leone, a past TEDxDayton Speaker and president and artistic Director of OFP Theatre Company.

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It features presentations from eight speakers.

TEDxDayton aims to spreads "ideas worth sharing" using the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) model for short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances.

TEDxDaytonSalon is part of TEDxDayton expanded portfolio of events.

The next TEDxDaytonSalon will be held in late May, with defense as the theme.

• Farrell said topisc discussed will include everything from military defense to self-defense to defense attorneys to the body’s defense system.

• The third TEDxDaytonSalon is slated for August and will have “after dark” as its theme.

Details have not been finalized, but talks could range from star gazers to emergency room personnel to club owners to law enforcement representatives.

• The TEDxYouth@Dayton event featuring young speakers is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5  at the Masonic Center in Dayton.

Admission to TEDxYouth@Dayton is free.

• TEDxDayton’s Signature event will be held Oct. 16.

Here are the speakers for the Feb. 29 event, with biographical information provided by TEDxDayton.

MODERATOR: Sierra Leone – Artist, Educator & Healer

Sierra is a Governor’s Award winner, and the President and Artistic Director of OFP Theatre Company. For more than a decade, Ohio has benefited from her vision of creative urban arts as a powerful artistic medium to bring communities together across racial, cultural, ideological, and economic divides. She speaks joyously about being one of the few Poets with an M.B.A. Her work with youth arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and regional businesses has been ongoing through her company’s educational arm, Signature Educational Solutions. She has written and performed commissioned work for local and national organizations.

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SPEAKER: David Bodary, PhD – Servant Leader

Bodary is the Chair of the Department of Communication at Sinclair Community College. He joined Sinclair as a faculty member in 1994 and has served a variety of roles since that time. Currently, he is a board member on the Sinclair Foundation. Additionally, he serves on boards with the Kettering Parks Foundation, Aviation Trail, Inc. and the Dayton League of Women Voters. David has degrees in Communication from Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

SPEAKER: Jennifer Cruz, PhD – Pianist

Cruz is a Professor of Piano at Central State University. With roots on the island of Guam, she was raised in Milwaukee, Wisc., where she began her piano studies at the age of four with Suzanne Lent. After being discovered by Alexander Toradze at a master class, she graduated from high school early to join his studio. Her degrees are from Indiana University-South Bend, Manhattan School of Music, and University of Cincinnati. She has taught at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati, and has performed in recitals and master classes across the United States, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Israel, Guam and Serbia.

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SPEAKER: Andrea Walker Cummings – Story Seeker

Cummings, a native Daytonian, is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and The Ohio State University. Retired from a 30-year technical career, Andrea devotes a major portion of her spare time fine tuning the needlecraft skills she began learning at the age of 7 from her mother. Andrea’s artwork has been included in past exhibits of Black Heritage Through Visual Rhythms, Visual Voices, Skyscrapers, and the African American Visual Artists Guild (AAVAG) of Dayton, of which she is the membership Secretary and Curator. Additionally, her work can be found in private collections across the country.

SPEAKER: Joni Fedders – Conscious Mother

Fedders opted for work-life integration early in her career; believing these two identities have the ability to strengthen, support, and enhance each other. As the President of Aileron, her work is focused on leveraging professional management to help businesses, teams, and entrepreneurs thrive. This gives her a unique lens on motherhood; she and her family weave principles of continuous learning, being a “we” system, and conscious leadership into their daily lives. She is a certified Leadership Coach, regional finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year, and 40 Under 40 recipient.

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SPEAKER: Lisa M. Hess, PhD – Wisdom Walker

Hess is a recovering scholar, contemplative, author, poet, CrossFitter, and Presbyterian teaching elder who has held sacred spaces for teaching and learning in Ohio for over 15 years. An innovator in restorative-wisdom leadership, she has been shaped by Princeton Theological Seminary, Women Writing for (a) Change (www.womenwriting.org), and PeerSpirit (www.peerspirit.com). She is the author of A Companionable Way: Path of Devotion in Conscious Love (Cascade, 2016), among other publications. She keeps one foot in a variety of "establishment" worlds, and one foot in the seeking-daring worlds calling us all.

SPEAKER: Tom Lasley, PhD – Educational Entrepreneur

Lasley served as a Professor and Dean at the University of Dayton, School of Education and Health Sciences for over 30 years and retired in 2015. He currently serves as the CEO for a small non-profit, Learn to Earn Dayton, which is focused on helping more Dayton and Montgomery County young people pursue and secure a marketable credential or post-secondary degree. He completed all his degrees at The Ohio State University. He has authored or co-authored 14 books. He loves reading and golf, though is much more intellectually fulfilled by the former and emotionally diminished by the latter.

SPEAKER: Jeri Ward – Resilient Survivor

Ward is an active volunteer, advocate, social worker, and counselor. She currently serves as a Development Director for the American Heart and Stroke Association. Most recently she created the first self-care committee in the state of Ohio. Ward enjoys traveling the country and speaking as an ambassador for the American Heart Association and the National Blood Clot Alliance. In 2018, she was crowned Mrs. Ohio America. She is an executive board member of the Junior League of Dayton and serves as the Accessibility Chair for We Care Arts. In 2019, she created an organization, The Lemonade Project, focusing on better lifestyle and overall well-being through prioritizing self-care.

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SPEAKER: Reverend Vanessa Oliver Ward – Faithful Leader

Ward is the Pastor Emerita of the Omega Baptist Church, and the President of the Omega Community Development Corporation. She oversees providing services to develop and improve the lives of the youth, families and the community of Northwest Dayton. Rev. Ward has been a recipient of local awards, including the Dayton YWCA Women of Influence Award, and the 2018 Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Ph.D. Award. She is a graduate of The College of Wooster, United Theological Seminary, and in 2012 she received the Master of Philosophy in Hebraic and Cognate Studies (M.Phil.) at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.


What: TEDxDaytonSalon | Women

When: 9 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.

Doors open at 8:15 a.m.

Where: Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton.

Cost: Tickets are $21. Visit tedxdayton.com/salon-women

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