Restless Hearts of Suburban Oklahoma

This original spoken word poem by Oklahoma poet Nick McLellan encourages audience members to make their home state a place worth staying by telling its stories.

Nick McLellan is a slam poet living in Norman, Oklahoma who aspires to make poetry a little more silly. He has represented Oklahoma at multiple national poetry slams and calls the Red Dirt Home for Wayward Poets his home.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Merleyn Bell On Being Biracial and Becoming Color Brave

Merleyn Bell is a biracial woman who founded a local radio show to talk about difficult issues centered around race. In this Talk, she stresses the importance of having uncomfortable conversations and shares insights she’s learned from doing just that.

Merleyn Bell is Art Director at the University of Oklahoma’s premiere literary publication, World Literature Today. In 2015, Merleyn created the radio show Race Matters as a platform for conversations with authors, activists, and scholars about the pressing topic of race. The show enriches the diverse offerings from World Literature Today, which celebrates its 90th year of continuous publication in 2016. During her decade-long tenure at World Literature Today, she has led the creation and development of the organization’s print and digital publications. Her design work has garnered many awards and made her a sought-after consultant to publications the world over. Before joining the staff at World Literature Today, Merleyn worked as a student intern for the organization. She now enjoys mentoring a new generation of students who are curious about the magazine publishing industry. Merleyn also works with a number of clients in the nonprofit sector, using her design expertise to help them

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Jennifer Barnes On Imaginary Friends and Real-World Consequences: Parasocial Relationships

Dr. Barnes creates characters as a YA author and studies people as a psychologist, leading her to ask: what are the consequences of the emotions we feel about people who aren’t real?

Dr. Jennifer Barnes lives a double life: by day, she’s a professor of psychology, and by night she’s a YA novelist. These passions have lead her to study the intersection of fiction and cognition.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Rodney Brazil describes why live theatre is vital for communities

In this entertaining talk, experienced thespian Rodney Brazil explains the importance of community theatre and presents a new model to make it more sustainable.

Rodney Brazil is a playwright, actor and director based in Oklahoma City, OK, where he is deeply involved in the local theatre community. Rodney is the co-founder of Next Stage, a theatre group dedicated to developing new plays and providing a more sustainable platform for local theatre artists.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx