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TEDxRansomEvergladesSchool 2022 focused on the theme “emerge” to build and showcase a program of engaging talks and presentations related to art, linguistics, and technology.

Andre Joseph 

The Elusive Future of Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is a process of redrawing and manipulating districts in order to weaken an opposing political party. While decades of activism has brought about change across many states, the foundations of American democracy continue to crack. In his talk, “The Elusive Future of Gerrymandering,” Andre Joseph offers a warning about the potential consequences of gerrymandering and machine learning as they become increasingly enmeshed. Artificial intelligence has the ability to gerrymander far better than any human hand and holds a unique ability of hiding in plain sight. He argues that the most important step for all citizens concerned about democracy is a shift in their perspective on electoral issue. That is, Gerrymandering must not simply be viewed as an abstract policy evil that is discussed solely though odd shapes and uneven numbers, but instead through the stories of children, families, and communities. 

Annika Gelber

Queer Liberation in 60 Seconds

TikTok, a popular social media app, has become something more than just a place for trendy dances and funny videos. It has helped the queer community to connect on an international level. Annika Gelber explains the history of queer communties and how they have connected in the past, and how they are connecting now. TikTok and social media in general has been able to connect the queer community, which isn’t connected geographically like black or latino communities. Social media has allowed the queer community to be more cohesive, and emerge as a more intertwined group of people. From the early gay rights protests in the 1950s, to protests in Florida about the Don’t Say Gay Bill, social media has changed, and will continue to change how the queer community is able to lead themselves to liberation through more cohesive organization. 

Max Vallone

Go Make Something: How Hobbyists Drive Innovation

In his talk, “Go Make Something: How Hobbyists Drive Innovation”, Max Vallone aims to inspire others to pursue their passions and hobbies. Inspired after going to a robotics competition as a child, he started taking household items apart and learning how they worked. This led him to learn more about engineering and fuel his passion for robotics. He continued to further immerse himself in his passion and was able to apply it to help others as a result. Max Vallone wants others to take advantage of the resources that they have at their disposal to pursue their interests and hobbies in any field, not just STEM or engineering. 

Ella Lombardo

The Reality of Toxic Positivity

Ella Lombardo, presenting her talk “The Reality of Toxic Positivity,” experienced it first hand. She desires to inform others on this prominent issue in society’s ideals. Ella was diagnosed with epilepsy at age eleven and has undergone multiple brain surgeries that have affected her relationships, school, and mindset. When faced with conversations about this topic, her emotions were dismissed and she was told to be positive. This is an example of toxic positivity. Ella Lombardo wants people to see when positivity becomes negative and approach daily interactions from a new perspective with the story of her personal journey. 

Daniel Figueroa

The Power of Words

Latino: What do you think of when you hear that word? Daniel Figueroa asks us to think about the words we use so frequently to label and identify ourselves and others. We begin by describing the origins of “Hispanic”, and how it relates to the civil rights movements of Mexican-Americans, who united under the word “Chicano''. We then discover the correlation between the changes in these words and how it relates to societal shifts, as well as go into a modern example of this phenomenon, the word “Latinx”. This talk explains how Latinx’s intentions may be misplaced by using the example: “black”. “Black” before the civil rights movement was used pejoratively, but afterwards, it was championed as a new emerging identity, similar to how “chicano'' was perceived. The talk asks viewers to reconsider the words that they use in their day-to-day lives.

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