Behind the Curtain: Why I wanted to bring TEDx to Perryville

I’ve always been an avid TED Talk fan and attended my first TED Conference, TEDWomen, in 2015. There, I fortuitously met a woman who had been brought on board to support TEDx in correctional facilities. This is what sparked the idea of TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional.

The women of the all-female Perryville Prison Complex holds a special place in my heart and I knew immediately that I wanted to bring TEDx to Perryville. I know first-hand the motivation the women of Perryville have and knew this would be an amazing experience in which to have them participate. TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional quickly became my passion project.

Televerde, along with our clients, know the potential that exists within Perryville, as do a handful of other local-Arizona companies including Hickman’s Family Farms and Papa John’s. These companies are providing incarcerated women with marketable skills that they can use upon release. They’re helping them to find career opportunities, not just jobs, when they leave Perryville, and in turn are helping the State of Arizona with its move to reduce recidivism rates.

Knowing that we’ve all experienced some sort of prejudice in our lives, we’ve built the theme of TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional to look behind the curtain and see the good that comes from someone’s journey of transformation – Behind the Curtain: Brains, Beauty, Business and Beyond. At the event, we’ll address topics surrounding societal issues, education and family and show the transformation and incredible journeys that are taking place before our eyes.

For the past several months, I’ve gladly spent my ALL of my free time working on TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional. Like I said, this is my passion project, and it’s also one I share with others including an amazing team of ladies at Perryville, other members of our Televerde team, the greater Arizona business community and the Arizona Department of Corrections including:

► Jack Hooker – my co-organizer and fellow Televerde team member;
►  Karen Fanning, Televerde;
►  Jessica Hocking, Televerde;
►  Korbi Johnston, Televerde;
►  Pam Potter, Televerde;
►  Candice Wright, Televerde;
►  Chris Cirocco, Pyramid Pools AZ;
►  Jennifer Jewett, Mockingbird Communications;
►  Alison Rapping, The Arouet Foundation;
►  Kristin Romaine, Like the Lettuce, LLC;
►  Brian Carson, Professional Speaking Coach;
►  Susan Foster, Professional Speaking Coach;
►  Julia Garcia, Professional Speaking Coach;
►  Pat Gillum, Professional Speaking Coach; and
►  Chris Carson, Videographer.

Together, with the support of Warden Currier and her team, we’ve been working to create not just a stellar event, but a thoughtful and transformative one. The event is this month, on Thursday, April 19th, and my hope is that attendees walk away with a new understanding of what it means to change; that the preconceived notions and, yes, prejudices they had when they walked into the Perryville Complex are challenged and (hopefully) changed.

I’m so excited to host TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional, and am even more excited about the speakers and performers we’ve confirmed and the sponsors who have signed on in support of the event. This event isn’t just about today – it’s about a brighter tomorrow for all of us and our communities.

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