Third Annual TEDxYouth@RVA Takes Place on Saturday

A diverse lineup of speakers headlining the third annual TEDxYouth@RVA on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Collegiate School’s Hershey Center for the Arts will present on the theme “What Now?”
This free event is open to the public, and gives local youths and adults a platform to share their personal perspectives on a topic that other youths and adults around the world will be discussing on the same day.
A group of Collegiate seniors and students from eight other area schools have collaborated since last May toplan this year’s event, which will be held from 5-9 p.m. The partnering schools areAppomattox Regional Governor's School, Deep Run High School, George Wythe High School, Hanover High School, James River High School, Maggie Walker Governor's School, Saint Gertrude High School and Trinity Episcopal School.
The students worked to find Richmond’s hidden stories begging to be told. They hoped to discover people who dream big or think about wild ideas; people who find small ways to make a difference in the lives of others, and even people who fail big and learn from that failure.
"The students found remarkable voices," said Allen Chamberlain, a TEDxYouth co-mentor and Head Librarian of Collegiate’s Upper School library. "They lived and honored inclusion. Although we may not know the immediate effects of TEDxYouth@RVA, these students are making a radical case for hope through the speakers they invited to be on the stage."
A full list of speakers can be found here, but below are some of the local residentsthe student organizers chose to share their message:
Alvalia Pemberton, a filmmaker and recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, will speak on beauty and show her short film “...Still,” which explores the complex relationship between black women and European beauty standards.
Emily Schall-Townley, a current college student and graduate of Monacan High School in Chesterfield County, will speak on her two mothers’ court case, Bostic v. Schaefer, which helped overturn the same-sex marriage ban in Virginia.
Mariha Junaid, a student at Midlothian High School, will speak on her experience with the stigma attached to the wearing the hijab.
Ely Bowles, astudent at the College of William & Mary (and 2014Collegiate alum), will speak about his experience as a transgender male.
Jendayi Johnson, Naomi Vickers and Chloe Hagins will speak about the organization Girls For A Change, whose mission is to inspire black girls and other girls of color to visualize their bright futures and potential, and share their inspiring experiences at TEDWomen 2016 in San Francisco.
Maurice Hill, Douglas Johnson, Da’Quon Beaver and Briele Ellis with Youth for RISE AdvocacyNetwork, a group serving youth and young adults ages 13-24 in the Richmond metro area who have personally experienced the juvenile justice system or who are interested in improving the juvenile justice system, will speak on the school to prison pipeline.
Attendance to TEDxYouth@RVA is free, but registration is required at
The event can also be viewed via livestream here.