TEDx talk planning underway at Palo Alto College

By Jonathan P. Quesada
Pulse Staff Reporter


Palo Alto College is currently in the preproduction phases of the first TEDx event for a San Antonio community college.

TEDxPaloAltoCollege is a conference-based, face-to-face event comprised of speakers, performances and videos containing thought-provoking information that will be introduced to the Palo Alto community in September 2018.

Palo Alto Speech Professor Tony Longoria, the producer of TEDxPaloAltoCollege, had his inspiration of producing the event when he attended a meeting where a president of a local university told the story of its early, groundbreaking beginnings.

“It was such a moving talk because it had to do with a recently freed slave girl, you know, probably a hundred and something years ago, and it was such an amazing story, and she spoke about it so eloquently, and I thought, ‘Man, that would be a great TED Talk,’” Longoria said.

This inclined Longoria to research and learn about the formation of TED’s independent faction to share powerful stories. Many steps and discussions led to the present form of the event as well as the theme, “Break Through.”

Longoria contacted the Public Relations Department of Palo Alto College to organize a group to tackle the production side of the event and now has around 30 members on creative, technical, business and communication teams.

Erica Meza, the coordinator of Communications at PAC, is currently working as part of the team.

“One of the advantages that we have for putting on a TEDx event is that we have an infrastructure in place for hosting events already,” Meza said.

The belief is that Palo Alto College is an institution set up for further educational outreach. PAC is a hub for ideas that raise questions, as well as a great community to integrate TEDx into.

TED sets up and sponsors conversation focused on getting important information out, which lends itself to their slogan, “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

A speaker selection process is underway with an imminent deadline in sight for people both inside and outside of the Palo Alto Community to apply. Requirements include the complete formation of an idea or performance that both matches the event’s theme, relevance and structure. No speakers are locked down yet, but several professionals are in mind.

Janelle Villarreal, a former PAC student, heard about the event and shared her excitement on its progression in the community.

“I just think it would be nice to have different perspectives, cultural perspectives, you know, of the people who came from a poorer community and are Hispanic, so it would be nice to see those who started from the bottom rise up to the top,” said Villarreal, who believes the event will be encouraging.

To get involved, contact Longoria at (210) 486-3211.