TED x UCL Women

TED x UCL Women

Words: Rochelle Thomas

Photography: Rochelle Thomas

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably come across a Ted Talk or two – or at least heard Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk sampled on Beyonce’s Flawless. But, iust incase you are unaware, a Ted (tech, entertainment, design) talk is a short lecture which is free to watch online and has become one of the most popular and inspirational online educational resources in the world. Whilst Ted talks traditionally have a global approach, Tedx focuses on local communities and local voices.

Since 2013, Tedx has partnered up with UCL (University College London), to host TedxUCLWomen. This is a movement celebrating the women of UCL and the wider community while looking at the barriers preventing women and girls worldwide from achieving their full potential. Interestingly enough, UCL was, in 1878, the first English University to admit female and male students on equal terms.

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The wonderful Nicole Crentsil (founder of the Black Girl Festival) hosted this year’s event. The theme of the day was Home. Broken up into three sessions, 11 speakers brought their own interpretation to the topic with pieces covering a mixture of differentiating subjects such as magic, race, and mars.

Some of the most notable speakers of the day included Halima Gosai Hussain who is a founding member of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative (IMI), which provides spaces for worship, open to all, regardless of gender, age, sexuality or disability. Liv Little and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff,who collectively run Gal Dem - the magazine curated exclusively by women of colour. Also Grace Victory, the Youtube sensation and proclaimed ‘internets big sister’, who delivered a powerful spoken word piece about her relationship with her body.

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“You’re beautiful and powerful and you always have been” – Grace Victory
 Grace Victory

Grace Victory

“94% of journalists are white” – Liv Little & Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
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 Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Alongside the speakers, the day also consisted of yoga, mindfulness and spoken word workshops as well as a zine fair, exhibitions and streaming of previous TEDx talks. It should also be noted that the event was run solely by women. For a platform that aims to empower individuals, and celebrate work done by women, it did just that; Reform The Funk rounded up some of the most memorable quotes of the night.

“Every human is an artist” – Professor Shelley Sacks
“Magic is just science we don’t understand (yet)” – Lauren Bowker
“We’d be stupid not to bring back the Black Girl’s Festival” – Nicole Crentsil
“If I can do it why should I not do it” – Lauren Bowker
“Anyone can lead a prayer you just have to know how to pray” – Halima Gosai Hussain
“When we speak of a problem we become a problem” – Guilaine Kinouani
“Diabetes causes one death every six seconds” – Dr. Ashleigh Boyd
“94% of journalists are white” – Liv Little & Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
“Covert racism is more distressing than overt racism” - Guilaine Kinouani
“Diversity is a white word” – Jules Orcullo
“You can not see what you are unwilling to see” - Guilaine Kinouani
“You cannot see what you’ve been programmed not to see” - Guilaine Kinouani
“You’re beautiful and powerful and you always have been” – Grace Victory
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Kei Maye: Exploring Life With Art.

Joe Fox

Joe Fox