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Norristown Community Leaders Speak Out in TedX

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Norristown Community Leaders Speak Out in TedX

Credit to:  http://onebus.ch/

Credit to: http://onebus.ch/

Credit to: http://onebus.ch/

Credit to: http://onebus.ch/

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The Men of Excellence have once again enriched the Norristown Community. This time through their organization of a TEDx talk held at the local Centre Theatre, which included four speakers from the community, all sharing the central theme of “Empowering the Community,” within their dialogues.

The anticipation in the room was palpable as the intimate venue filled with members of the community; friends, family, teachers and students alike, all gathered to listen to the words of Reverend Avilesbernal, Dr. Thames Taylor, Mr. John Doyle, and Ms. Mydera Robinson.

The lights dimmed and the spotlight was on Akbar Hossain, the organizer of the TEDx talk. After an introduction from Mr. Hossain and warm welcome from NMOE president Tre Hadrick, the first speaker, Rev. Doug Avilesbernal of Calvary Baptist Church, began his monologue.

Rev. Avilesbernal spoke of his childhood; born in Guatemala, but never fitting in because of his moves all over the country. The Reverend admitted that he was privileged in many of the countries he lived in. Being unique, he was consistently the top of the totem pole. That was, until he moved to the United States. He said that in the U.S., being different is, ironically, not accepted. With his experience on both sides of privilege,

Avilesbernal told the audience the importance of embracing everyone’s differences rather than tolerating them.”

Dr. Tanya Thames Taylor followed soon behind, her talk titled, “Admiring Failure.” Taylor wove together a fascinating anecdote of her childhood; sitting on her grandmother’s porch, combining this with her love of history and how the perception of failure can really mean success. She talked of the strong will of her family, refusing to be broken by the family that had “owned,” them years before. Also adding in the unwavering dedication of African-American figures, such as Malcolm X, who her teachers said had failed in their cause. Yet Dr. Thames Taylor spoke of the catalyst that these figures were, allowing huge historical events to take place after their deaths. Failure, is, after all, only a mindset.

Mr. John Doyle, currently a teacher here at NAHS, took the stage to speak of value. According to Mr. Doyle, it has become a custom of our society to boost the morale of others through empty affirmations. Instead, it is more important to understand the worth that people intrinsically have. By doing this our society will flourish as people give constructive criticism instead of a, “good job,” which, at the end of the day, is useless. In order to find this value society must shake off the misconceptions and stereotypes people perceive in others, and instead look for the good.

Following this was Ms. Mydera Robinson, a woman who has already found success in her young adult life. Mydera’s talk focused on a topic that could be difficult to grasp: “Can We Be Happy? An Exploration of the Mind.” As an artist Mydera spoke of criticism, mentioning that many times people are hardest on themselves. Ms. Robinson also went into depth of the importance of art and how it entwines itself into our lives more deeply than is immediately apparent. This led to the deep analyst of the mindset of happiness and how it can be found.

All four of these speakers come from diverse backgrounds and identities and yet all of them connect deeply with the community and how important it is to unite. Each of these speakers left the audience with new knowledge, and equally as important, a new mindset. Suddenly everyone in the room melted into a single entity, and it was there that the seeds of community grew.  “Empowering the Community” seems to start with something simple, powerful and pure; love. Love for yourself, love for others, and love for differences between the two.

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Norristown Community Leaders Speak Out in TedX