I Was Almost A School Shooter | Aaron Stark | TEDxBoulder

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After growing up in painful, abusive conditions, Aaron Stark was on his way to an atrocity, until simple acts of kindness changed his life forever. What is causing the rise of violence and are our current fears and solutions just making it worse? My name is Aaron stark. I am 39 years old with 4 children, 2 cats, one dog, and a beautiful wife. I am a stay at home dad; my wife is the breadwinner of the family. I am a comic book fan, a pop culture junkie, and a lover of the sciences. I have more knowledge about superheros, pro wrestling, and comedy than anyone really has a right to. After growing up in very abusive and violent circumstances followed by over a decade if personal recovery, I am now a happy family man. I recently shred a very personal story of my triumph over my past, and it has changed my life forever. My mission is to let people know that no matter how dark it may seem, there is light coming. We really are not alone. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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I was an MS-13 gang member. Here's how I got out. | Gerardo Lopez | TEDxMileHigh

I was an MS-13 gang member. Here's how I got out. | Gerardo Lopez | TEDxMileHigh

Gerardo Lopez grew up in gang territory in Los Angeles, California and was just 14 years old when he joined MS-13, the notorious Salvadorian gang. Why did he join and why did he leave? In this courageous talk, Gerardo reveals how we can help others get out and stay out of gangs. Gerardo "Clever" Lopez has worked in gang intervention for over two decades. Formerly of the notorious Los Angeles gang MS-13, Gerardo escaped gang life and now ensures that at-risk youth from making the same mistakes. He is Executive Director of the Denver chapter of Homies Unidos, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence and promoting peace through gang intervention and prevention. Gerardo is an avid baseball fan waiting for the Dodgers to win the World Series, and the subject of the award-winning, short documentary CLEVER. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
I grew up in a cult. It was heaven -- and hell. | Lilia Tarawa | TEDxChristchurch

I grew up in a cult. It was heaven -- and hell. | Lilia Tarawa | TEDxChristchurch

Lilia Tarawa was brought up in the Gloriavale Christian Community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, where she was constantly surrounded by everyone she loved. But over time, she began to see the dark side of her community, and ultimately realised that she had to get out. In this raw and emotional talk, Lilia shares the reality of life in a cult, and her heart-wrenching journey to break free.

Lilia Tarawa is a New Zealand writer, speaker, holistic health consultant and business coach. She is a member of the Māori Ngāi Tahu tribe. Lilia was born into New Zealand's infamous religious cult, Gloriavale, and fled with her eleven family members at eighteen years of age. Her extraordinary life experience compelled her to pursue a career promoting human rights, welfare and empowerment. Lilia Tarawa is a New Zealand writer, speaker, holistic health consultant and business coach. She is a member of the Māori Ngāi Tahu tribe. Lilia was born into New Zealand's infamous religious cult, Gloriavale, and fled with her eleven family members at eighteen years of age. Her extraordinary life experience compelled her to pursue a career promoting human rights, welfare and empowerment. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
Trained not to cry:  the challenge of being a soldier | Richard Doss | TEDxNaperville

Trained not to cry: the challenge of being a soldier | Richard Doss | TEDxNaperville

Members and Veterans of the US Armed Forces have unacceptably high suicide rates. Why?
It's not the combat experience like one would suggest, but a much more complex issue that needs to be talked about.


Dr. Richard Doss is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and works for the Veterans Administration Vet Center. He is also a former Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the United States Army Reserve, training commanders, soldiers, and their families on suicide prevention and assisting over 13,000 soldiers in 26 states and Puerto Rico. Certified in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Richard has trained hundreds of Soldiers and their families in the art of Suicide Awareness and Suicide Prevention.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
America's forced marriage problem | Fraidy Reiss | TEDxFoggyBottom

America's forced marriage problem | Fraidy Reiss | TEDxFoggyBottom

Forced and child marriage seem like problems that don't exist in America, but in reality marriage under the age of 18 is legal in all 50 states. After escaping her own forced marriage, activist Fraidy Reiss is working to help women and girls close the legal loopholes around these marriages for good.

Fraidy Reiss is an activist who is recognized internationally as an expert on forced and child marriage in America, drawing inspiration from her own abusive forced marriage. After realizing that most women and girls trying to flee or resist arranged and forced marriages are limited by finances, religious law and social customs, she founded the organization 'Unchained At Last' to help women successfully start new lives. Her writing on the subject has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and countless other publications in the US and beyond, and she has been interviewed and featured by those outlets as well as Financial Times, BBC, PBS, NPR, CBS and others. Reiss has also assisted in the creation of legislation to end and reduce child marriage which has been introduced and, in some cases, already passed in multiple US states.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
What does the Quran really say about a Muslim woman's hijab? | Samina Ali | TEDxUniversityofNevada

What does the Quran really say about a Muslim woman's hijab? | Samina Ali | TEDxUniversityofNevada

In recent times, the resurgence of the hijab along with various countries’ enforcement of it has led many to believe that Muslim women are required by their faith to wear the hijab. In this informative talk, novelist Samina Ali takes us on a journey back to Prophet Muhammad's time to reveal what the term “hijab” really means -- and it's not the Muslim woman's veil! So what does “hijab” actually mean, if not the veil, and how have fundamentalists conflated the term to deny women their rights? This surprising and unprecedented idea will not only challenge your assumptions about hijab but will change the way you see Muslim women.

Samina Ali is an award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days, won France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Ali’s work is driven by her belief in personal narrative as a force for achieving women’s individual and political freedom and in harnessing the power of media for social transformation. She is the curator of the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed virtual exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx