#TEDxCrenshaw 2015 | A Recap

On October 24, 2015, the Crenshaw Community hosted the inaugural TEDxCrenshaw,made possible by lead organizer Zaneta Smith. The atmosphere was lively and fun, as attendees came together over a love of their community and engaging new and innovative ideas.

TEDxCrenshaw was an independently organized TED-like event comprised of passionate volunteers who were dedicated to ideas worth spreading.

The theme behind TEDXCrenshaw was “Changes.” According to the organizers, they believe that change challenges us to question the old assumptions, stimulates us to explore new possibilities, and encourages us to make positive and impactful decisions that affect our lives and the future of our community. And TEDxCrenshaw was the was event to commemorate that.

The convening saw nearly 100 people from the Crenshaw community come out to learn and engage in conversation.Throughout the day, people showed up in droves to support local speakers and innovators. The attendees had much to say about the significance of the event.

Koree Yancy and Shinquell Green, two of the attendees, said that this event was very significant. They both heard of the event on Facebook and knew that they had to attend. Shinquell mentioned that she felt empowered by the event. Koree stated that it was very refreshing to be around like-minded people who want the same thing. They both agreed that unity is just what the South LA community needs and that TEDxCrenshaw was a step in the right direction.

Another great set of attendees came in the form of married couple Ronnie and Cree Craig, South LA natives who work in education. They both emphasized how grateful they were that education was a priority at TEDxCrenshaw. When asked what changes they felt need to be addressed in South LA, they both agreed that the solutions were, "in hope and unity” –– things they felt TedXCrenshaw exemplified, especially in the speakers.


Jody Armour, a law professor at the USC Gould School of Law, delivered a speech entitled Black Hearts in White Minds: Race, Crime, and Redemption.” In his thought-provoking speech, he discussed the need for the abolishment of respectability politics in the Black community.

Another stand out speaker was art dealer and owner of Leimert Park’s Papillion, Michelle Papillion. Her talk on the “The Art of Doing Good” was a great discussion on following your passions and the power of believing in––a message that resonated with many in the audience. Another notable speaker was Los Angeles born and bred Hip-Hop artist and CEO, Dom Kennedy.

Kennedy’s talk was entitled the “The Time is Now.” In it, he described his experiences growing up in South Los Angeles and offered advice to the youth. He and the other speakers really set the bar high and left the audience clamoring for more. As I glanced across the auditorium, I could tell that everyone was becoming more and more inspired with each speech. By the time it came to an end, everyone looked content and eager to apply what they had learned.

At the close of the event TEDxCrenshaw organizer, Zaneta Smith, expressed her appreciation for everyone as she mentioned that the event was “meant to spark change.” Everyone felt the result of that spark and looked more inspired than they did upon arriving. As everyone waved goodbye, the organizers volunteers vowed to do everything in their power to bring back this marvelous event to the Crenshaw community.


Enjoy more photos of the day below.