Ted Talks: African American Visionaries

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
William F. Laman Public Library - Main Branch
Lecture Hall - Main Library

Event Details

As part of celebrating Black History Month we are showing two Ted Talks from the "10 Must-See Ted Talks by African- American Visionaries. " Both Ted talks can be seen in less than an hour. Program is free and open to the public.
The first one is Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes to Everything. 

Why you should listen

When ABC kicked off its 2014 television season by devoting its Thursday night line-up to the Shondaland shows How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes -- already one of the most influential producers in Hollywood -- became arguably the single most powerful voice in television today. In 2015, ABC snapped up Rhimes’ latest series, The Catch. Shondaland shows have the special ability to capture both fan devotion and critical attention – she’s won everything from a Peabody Award to a People’s Choice Award.

Rhimes is known for her groundbreaking storytelling, her candor and humor in the face of her critics, and for never shying away from speaking her mind. She’s also known for her social media savvy, and fans of her shows basically own Twitter on Thursday nights. Her first book, Year of Yes, was published in November 2015.

The Second one is Jedidah Isler: The Untapped Genius That Could Change Science for the Better. 

Why you should listen

Jedidah Isler has been staring at the stars since she was 11 or 12. But because neither her undergraduate college or the university where she got her first master’s degree offered astronomy majors, she threw herself wholeheartedly into physics. It wasn’t until she entered a doctoral program that she was able to dedicate her time to the studying the night sky. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D in Astrophysics from Yale.

Isler studies blazars — supermassive hyperactive black holes at the center of galaxies, some of which emit powerful streams of particles. Sometimes these are oriented toward Earth, offering us a unique perspective on the physics of the universe. Isler is a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow in Physics at Syracuse University. She participates in the Future Faculty Leader program at Harvard's Center for Astrophysics and was named a 2015 TED Fellow.

Isler is also interested in breaking down barriers that prevent many students — especially women of color — from becoming scienists. She works to make STEM accessible to new communities. 


Event Type(s): .MAIN - ADULT
Age Group(s): Adults (ages 19-120), Teens (ages 12-18)