Second annual TEDxTalk sponsored by Black Pyramid Society centers on voice

By Noah Sunshine || Senior Staff Writer

    The Black Pyramid Senior Honor Society (BPS) hosted its second annual TEDxFranklin&MarshallCollege last Thursday. Co-chairs Rachel Codkind ’15 and Matt Loiacono ’15 organized the event, overseeing the selection of the speakers and publicity. The event, located in the Green Room Theatre, only had 100 tickets available, but was filmed for the enjoyment of the public as per TED standard. Several professors and members of the Lancaster community attended, but the majority of the crowd were students.

     TEDx is an extension of TED that is licensed freely to schools, cities, etc. in order to provide an educational atmosphere.  TED talks are kept to approximately 18 minutes or less, and TEDxFranklin&MarshallCollege was no different — four professionals from F&M’s corner of Lancaster assembled to speak about voice in short talks. At the beginning and middle of the show, two TED talks were also played for the audience.

    The theme this year was Voice — specifically,  finding one’s own voice — and local voices assembled to instruct, inspire, and challenge. In the lineup from F&M’s faculty were Dean Hammer, don of New College House, and Kelly McMasters, visiting assistant professor of English.  Hammer related his experience as a faculty member of a College house and how finding a voice is important for students entering college and having their lives turned on their head.  McMasters spoke about literary voice in her writing and also her favorite books, connecting them to recent events in her life, like a car accident in 2012.

     “We were inspired by Dr. Porterfield’s convocation speech about the importance of voice. Everyone has a different and valuable story to tell, and this event provided an opportunity to continue the F&M community’s celebration of individual voice,” Codkind said.

     From the community was Beth Koser Schwartz, a nurse from the Lancaster General Health Network and facilitator of the Lighten Up Lancaster County coalition.  Beyond speaking about healthy eating, she highlighted projects in Lancaster attempting to use every individual’s voice to brighten up the community, from gardening to bike repair.

     Finally, Nick Peterson ’02, an F&M alumnus who completed his Masters at the Lancaster Theological seminary, spoke. A pastor and activist, Peterson added voice to the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, for which he organizes locally, and into his own life.

Senior Noah Sunshine is a senior staff writer. His email is nsunshin@fandm.edu.

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