As a full time working mom of two young boys, I know how precious weekends can be. There’s just never enough time in a day and before you know it, poof, the weekend is over. I get it. But here’s the thing. We moms need a break. And I’m not talking about the occasional yoga or Barre class, trip to the ski hill or time at the spa. We need time to foster thought-provoking intellectual dialogue. We‘re aware of what’s going on in the world, but often don’t have time to do something about it. However well-intentioned we are, the kiddos always come first.
A day of big ideas worth spreading: if you’ve never been to a TEDx event before, I assure you it’s worth the time you’ll need finding a babysitter, or convincing your husband to watch the kids so you can go with your girlfriends, to attend. The experience will shed new light on parenting, family, personal well-being and motherhood in ways you never considered. Allow me to explain …
In 2016, Tahoe local and non-profit leader Sherry McConkey shared the story of losing her beloved husband Shane in a tragic ski accident, and how she managed to turn moments of sadness into inspiration for both she and her daughter following their loss. Emily Fay Reese, mother of three, explained how her white-picket-fence world was turned upside down after not just surviving cancer, but learning that her husband was gay and in a relationship with another man. British dating expert Hayley Quinn talked about finding love in the dating world after a shocking miscarriage. Meanwhile, Emily Nagosi, author of three guides for GoodInBed.com and the popular sex blog TheDirtyNormal.com, shared insights for unlocking the door to sexual well-being.
At a TEDx event, because the speakers do not share their topics publicly in advance, you never quite know what to expect from the day until you actually attend in person. And this is precisely why you must!
Past speakers who also happen to be notable moms have included:
- Jill Tolles, Nevada State Assemblywoman and advocate for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
- Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart of The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, an organization aimed at stopping victimization (mom to a daughter born in 2015!)
- Nicole Hockley, managing director at Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting
- Raquel Abowd, mom of three and an inspiring teacher at Carson Montessori School
- Leilani Schweitzer, a mother who lost her toddler due to medical error, formerly of Reno and now at Stanford University Medical Center
- Shila Morris, co-owner of Squeeze In restaurants and mom of three
- Wendy Damonte, former local news anchor whose documentary about losing her mother to breast cancer was nominated for an Emmy
This weekend, the 2017 TEDxUniversityofNevada event will take place at the Grand Sierra Resort and this year’s line-up will offer a whole new set of inspiring, thought-provoking, and heartfelt stories pleading, and needing to be shared. Among this year’s strong female speakers and performers are:
- Reno local Vanessa Vancour, mom of two girls, former news anchor now teaching at the University’s Reynolds School of Journalism
- Ashley Evdokimo, a St. Mary’s hospice care worker and MBA student at the University of Nevada
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Doula Ashley Greenwald Tragash, PhD
- Grammy nominated country music singer CAM who just appeared last month on The Voice
- British model and body positivity advocate Iskra Lawrence who happens to be on this month’s cover of Self Magazine
- NBC and MSNBC correspondent Mariana Atencio
- Former Miss USA Tara Conner
- Award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator Samina Ali
- Ebonee Davis, a philanthropic model based in New York City
- Reno startup scene guru Ashley Clift Jennings
- Ming Li Wu, a high school senior at the Davidson Academy and a spoken word poet
- Julia Picetti, mother of five in Reno who recently lost a daughter to drug addiction
- Alexis Jones, co-founder of the non-profit I Am That Girl bringing awareness to the issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault on campuses
- The Warning Band, comprised of a trio of sisters from Mexico who have been touring internationally and have appeared on The Ellen Show
Females aside, I’m personally most interested in hearing from the very decorated, now retired U.S. Navy Seal Jocko Willink, who also happens to host one of Apple’s top-rated podcasts of 2016. I encourage you to check out the full line-up to see who inspires you!
Why You Should Attend
What better way is there to spend a Saturday than with a bunch of friends, sharing an emotional journey together, hearing powerful stories about life from real people with ideas worth spreading to leave you feeling relaxed, re-energized, motivated?
This award-winning local event—which has to-date seen nearly 10 million views online of its videos—takes place on January 21 at the Grand Sierra Resort. You can buy tickets online, or to avoid ticket fees, head directly to the GSR box office. The experience will leave you ready to tackle life with new purpose, understanding, creativity, and initiative. Join hundreds of others in the Reno area and commit to be a part of something greater happening within our wonderful community. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit www.tedxuniversityofnevada.org.