Catalyst Magazine

TEDx: Out of the (Cereal) Box

Photo by Alex Likowski
Russell McClain and his stereotypical cereal box.

Stopping minors from being manipulated, cooling trauma patients to keep them alive, using the brain to solve the opioid crisis, and finding the middle ground in gender were just a few of the innovative topics presented at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) first TEDx event.

The daylong event Nov. 9, 2018, put on through TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading,” not only informed and entertained a full house at the SMC Campus Center. It was livestreamed on YouTube to a global audience.

Ten speakers from the UMB community took the stage to share their innovative ideas across a wide scope of subject areas united under a single theme focusing on the University’s mission statement: Improving the Human Condition.

One of the presenters, Russell McClain, JD ’95, an associate dean at the Carey School of Law, used the back of a cereal box to launch a discussion about implicit bias. “The corn pops are having a blast,” McClain said. “They’re skateboarding down the escalator, they’re swimming in the milk fountain.” Amid all the yellow corn pops is a brown one, with a hat tilted to one side, sweeping with a broom. He’s not having fun. “This corn pop fits so many brown stereotypes,” said McClain, who pondered how the image passed review.

Plans are underway for UMB’s next TEDx event.

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Jena Frick

Jena Frick is a senior media relations specialist in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

CATALYST magazine

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