2019 TEDx Speakers

2019 TEDx Mountain View College 

Demetria Obilor - Host

Demetria O

Demetria Obilor is a traffic reporter/anchor for WFAA in Dallas, Texas. She appears on Daybreak, weekdays 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. and on Midday. Demetria got her start in television while attending the University of Kansas. There she worked at the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, Mo. as a production tech. After graduation, she was promoted to morning traffic reporter where she stayed until she and her family moved to Las Vegas. There she worked at KLAS-TV, as the morning traffic anchor where she made a name for herself as a bold and dynamic anchor and social media star. 

Speaker Biographies

Courtney Brazile

Courtney Brazile

DIVERSITY IN AN UN-DIVERSE WORLD

Diversity represents all of the unique differences of the human race. It is important that we move beyond merely tolerating each other and find common ground with truly celebrating who we all are. It's important that we authentically listen to one another while embracing that we are more alike than different. Are you ready to invoke change and bring diversity to places who think they've already acquired it?

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Brazile teaches Speech Communication courses at Mountain View College and he directs the Minority Male Initiative for the Dallas County Community College District. He previously taught at Eastfield College where he coordinated a variety of events and campus programs targeted at engaging and retaining men of color—such as workshops on resume writing, business-professional etiquette, dress for success initiatives, and he coordinated an annual Men's Leadership & Awards Luncheon at his campus.

Brazile also has connected his Male Initiative students with various community outreach opportunities with Sharing Life of Mesquite, the YMCA, the African-American Male Academic Bowl, and the Bridge. He was named the 2015-16 Jean Sharon Griffith Student Development Leadership Award recipient and the 2017-18 Excellence in teaching award recipient at Eastfield College. 

Dr. Hurshel B. Burton III

Hurshel Burton

ERASING THE STIGMA OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATION

Addressing the misconceptions of a community college. It's a phenomenon that defies common sense and practicality. As a professor within the Dallas County Community College District, Dr. Burton III can offer personal insight and anecdotes while making suggestions on how we can all encourage and support the community college experience. 

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Dr. Hurshel B. Burton III is a professor of English at Brookhaven College, a professional musician and the administrator for Camp Jam, a national summer music program. He obtained his B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University, M.Ed. in Education/Language Arts from Texas Wesleyan University and Ph.D. in Professional Studies in Education from Capella University. Dr. Burton is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and the proud father of his daughter Rio, a DCCCD and UTD college graduate. Dr. Burton has written, directed and produced five plays and currently performs and records in a number of regional and national bands. His goals for the future include postdoctoral research through fellowships and grants, public speaking, community partnerships and a continued passion for education, music and intellectual curiosity.

Diego Corzo

CAN THE AMERICAN DREAM BE ACHIEVED IF YOU'RE NOT AMERICAN?

The highs and lows of a Dreamer's Journey. Diego Corzo was just nine years old when his parents told him America was the land of opportunity and hard work. However, is that indeed the case for everyone? Can the American Dream be achieved if one is not American? Experience his unique story of how hard work has paid off in a number of ways. 

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Diego Corzo is a millennial entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. Diego was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States with his family when he was 9 years old. Diego's parents told him that America was the land of opportunity and that with hard work and determination all of his dreams would be possible. Diego graduated in the top 1% from Florida State University with 2 bachelor degrees in less than 4 years and no debt. In corporate America, he worked for General Motors as a software developer but eventually pursued his passion for real estate.  He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Future Sharks, and CNNMoney to name a few.

Jarred Davis

Jarred Davis

FIND YOUR VOICE THROUGH POWERFUL AND PERENNIAL WORDS 

We're often so busy talking that we forget the immense power of our words. It is the power of words that creates, destroys, unites, divides and uplifts. It's merely a matter of how our words are used. Jarred has a fascinating story to tell and one that will have you thinking about the way you communicate. It's something he's experienced by just examining how a train teachers us about our word power. 

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Jarred Davis is a driven leader and commentator who uses the conviction of plain truth and humor, in pursuit of a better world.

He is a native of Oak Cliff and is currently Vice Chair of the City of Dallas' Planning and Zoning Commission, Mountain View College's Executive Director of Human Resources, Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Association Board Director, and an Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce Board Director. The essence of Jarred's work and calling is captured and energized by powerful and perennial words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "In our fickle moments, we may feel that we are what we are by our own achievements, but in our sober moments, we know deep down in ourselves that we did not make ourselves. This is another way of saying, "All that we are, we owe."

Laurie Gabriel

Laurie Gabriel

LIVE YOUR LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD

Laurie has spent the past 30 years working with middle schoolers. This is the stage when children typically shed the last remaining vestiges of their childhood. Have you ever wondered how different our world might be if we held onto some of those childlike qualities into our adulthood? It could be the key to creating the world we'd all like to see. 

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Laurie Gabriel taught in public schools for 30 years and has always wondered why we ask kids to grow up so quickly. She is the producer of the documentary film "Heal Our Schools" and author of "Hear Our Teachers" and "Eyes of Wonder." She has published multiple classroom guides for teachers and has presented at teachers' conferences at the state and national level. Laurie tries to see the world through the eyes of a child. She has traveled with wonder to 47 countries (and counting) and still wears Hello Kitty shirts in her fifties.

Tro'juan Henderson

Trojuan Henderson 

HARNESSING THE POWER OF HIP-HOP

Hip-hop poetry has the power to shape social and emotional behavior, but do we truly understand the power of this creative form of music? As one of the youngest genres of music in the world, hip-hop can be utilized as a conduit of emotional literacy. Experience it for yourself as you sit back and feel how lyrics can translate raw emotion.

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Tro'juan Henderson's passion is education. As a performance poet, he uses his gift/craft to build within the community he belongs to, utilizing creative writing as a tool to begin a healing process and assist youth with finding the power within their voices. 

As someone who grew up in this community and battled with emotional, mental and financial challenges, he feels the TEDx Mountain View College stage provides a wonderful opportunity to share with others how his life has changed for the better through art, education and mentorship. Tro'juan's ultimate goal is to show how hip-hop and poetry can create cultural and social wellness. He believes hip-hop is where honesty meets transparency and has the power to shape a nation.

John Holiday

John Holiday

THE MONSTERS UNDER MY BED

The monsters under our bed can paralyze us, cause us to feel shame or feel powerless. Have you ever wondered how you can turn those monsters under the bed into fuel? A fuel that can propel you toward the fullest and greatest manifestations possible? There's a way we can release the shackles that hold us back, and once we're set free, it's possible to take the incredible world by storm. 

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Countertenor John Holiday, winner of the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, one of Broadway World's "New York Opera 2015 Gifts that Keep on Giving" and nominee for "Newcomer of the Year" by the German magazine "Opernwelt", has quickly established himself as a fast-rising singer to watch.  Alongside his classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz and gospel music having opened for Grammy award winner Jason Mraz in concert. Holiday recently released his debut jazz album entitled "The Holiday Guide." 

He received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School in New York City. Holiday grew up in Rosenberg, Texas, located near Houston, where he attended public schools.

Dr. Erin L. Kelley

Dr. Erin L. Kelley

HOW LAW STIGMATIZES RAPE VICTIMS

Due to the strict standards of criminal law, oftentimes, the burden of proof might not be met to convict a rapist. Dr. Kelley believes that doesn't excuse the fact that many rapists are getting away with the crime and with harming women. She believes that both society and the law have been accepting a rape culture that tends to blame the victim, not the criminal. If so, we should stop asking what she was doing, wearing or saying? Instead, we should ask "what made him think this was ever "acceptable?"

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Dr. Erin L. Kelley is a Professor of English at Richland College in Dallas, Texas.  Prior to completing a Ph.D. in Literature, Dr. Kelley earned a Juris Doctorate degree at Texas Tech University School of Law and briefly worked in the Criminal District Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas.  She enjoys instructing her students, speaking at conferences, and writing about how law and literature teach us about who we are, as a society. She is currently working on a book project called "Law, Literature, and Sexism."

Manisha Shrestha

Manisha Shrestha 

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY THROUGH ART

An international student from Nepal studying here at Mountain View College, Manisha was just invited to become a member of the National Student Leadership Society. She's preparing to graduate in just a few months with an Associate's Degree in Business Administration and Management. Her inspiring story includes both tragedy and beauty while helping us realize how personal experience can lead to immense personal growth for all of us.

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Manisha Shrestha is an MVC student from Kathmandu, Nepal who will receive her Associate Degree in Business Administration and Management. She serves as the US representative for Artudio in Nepal, an organization that focuses on the perseverance of art. Her love of photography - cameras and lenses - came full circle when her home country was rocked by a devastating earthquake on April 25, of 2015. After the tragedy, Manisha participated in a group project exhibition titled "Spectrum." She says her goal is to become a source and a champion for Nepalese artists so that their works can be showcased. Manisha intends to do this by taking the knowledge and education she gained while here in the US and studying at Mountain View College to do something positive for her country.