What happens when our perceptions suddenly don’t match reality? When the things we have taken for granted change in the blink of an eye? When hope becomes fear, and progress seems interrupted? Such Disruption can leave us defeated, or it can be embraced and turned into opportunity.

Join us as we explore life’s events from ten perspectives to see where they land on the spectrum of resilience and hopelessness at the TEDxMidAtlantic Salon: Disruption.

TEDxMidAtlantic Salon Details

Dates: Monday, March 6
Program Time: 5:30PM to 9:00PM
Location: Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington DC
Ticket Price: Free!

Salon Partners

Salon Speakers

Richard Lui


Richard Lui is an American journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News. He was formerly at CNN Worldwide. Lui’s enterprise reporting has focused on humanitarian issues including gender equality, human trafficking, and affordable housing. His charity work in the same spaces has led him to work with Plan International USA and he is an ambassador for the Epilepsy Foundation. Lui splits his time between New York City and San Francisco to help care for his father, Stephen, who was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago.

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Desirée Venn Frederic

Artist and Activist

Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born immigrant, a writer and installation artist.  As the founder of Nomad Yard Collectiv, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is a community organizer, and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression.

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Adnan Virk

ESPN Sportscaster

Adnan Virk is a Canadian sportscaster, currently working for ESPN. He is the fifth Canadian and first Muslim sports anchor to be hired by ESPN. At ESPN, Virk is one of the main anchors for Baseball Tonight, and College Football Final. Virk has also hosted SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and Mike&Mike for ESPN radio. Virk also was the primary fill-in for Keith Olbermann on his ESPN show. Virk also hosts his own movie podcast Cinephile on ESPN. Virk was born in Toronto and studied radio and television arts at Ryerson University.

Dahlia Aguilar


Dahlia Aguilar is the founding principal of Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School – the first and only school in the District focusing on Education for Sustainability –and brings 20 years of school leadership and instructional experience in bilingual elementary and high school education to her role. She has worked for over ten years to strengthen the practice of teachers and leaders in public and public charter schools with multicultural and multilingual student bodies.

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Jay Newton-Small


Jay Newton-Small is cofounder of MemoryWell, a startup of journalists who tell the life stories of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in order to improve their care. Previously, Newton-Small was Washington correspondent for TIME Magazine, where she remains a contributor. At TIME she covered politics as well as stories on five continents from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti and the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. She has written more than half a dozen TIME cover stories and interviewed numerous heads of state, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

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Dushaw Hockett

The SPACEs Project

Dushaw Hockett is the founder and Executive Director of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), a Washington, DC-based leadership development and community building organization dedicated to bridging the gap between what people imagine and what they achieve. He’s the former Director of Special Initiatives for the Center for Community Change (CCC), a 40-plus year old national social justice organization founded in the memory of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

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Irene A. Magafan

Storyteller and Activist

Irene A. Magafan is a Emmy Award winning natural history documentary filmmaker, multimedia video producer, a freelance actor and voiceover artist and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Her current film, ‘The Bonobo Connection’, narrated by Hollywood actor and activist, Ashley Judd, is a documentary about one of our closest living relatives; the bonobo. Irene’s passion is to work for animals rights, human rights and to be an environmental activist. Inspiring people through the powerful medium of storytelling and ultimately film is where her path takes her.

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Nat Kendall-Taylor

FrameWorks Institute

Nat Kendall-Taylor is Chief Executive Officer at the FrameWorks Institute. Nat oversees the organization’s pioneering, research-based approach to strategic communications, which uses methods from the social and behavioral sciences to measure how people understand complex socio-political issues and tests ways to reframe them to drive social change. As CEO, he leads a multi-disciplinary team of social scientists and communications practitioners who investigate ways to apply innovative framing research methods to social issues and train nonprofit organizations to put the findings into practice.

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Donald Stevenson

Youth Advocate

Donald Stevenson has worked to serve and uplift his community for over 10 years. He is the Co-founder of Sons of Life and Brand Ambassador for the DC or Nothing community initiatives. His service in the community humbly started with him serving as a Junior Roving Leader for The Department of Parks and Recreation (CPR) and quickly flourished into a life commitment to empower his community. He is certified in Positive Youth Development, suicide prevention; and a, Certified Life Skills Facilitator (A.R.I.S.E. & Points of Life Youth Leadership Institute) and Professional Community Gang Outreach/Intervention Specialist.

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Amanda Gookin


Amanda Gookin, praised for her “deep, rich tone and a lovely rubato” (SoundWordSite) and “exceptionally evocative form” (The Glass), is a chamber musician, soloist, and educator living in New York City. She is the co-founder of innovative PUBLIQuartet, quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Concert Artists Guild’s 2013 New Music/New Places Ensemble. She gives master classes on improvisation and chamber music throughout the U.S. and is a Teaching Artist in New York City public schools.

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