Sophie Brazington will be a speaker at TEDxTopekaWomen 2016.

Sophie Brazington: Our Own Femininity

Expectations of what it means to be feminine, or what it means to be a woman, vary wildly based on cultural and societal factors. But why are women looked at differently than men in the first place? It isn’t just the anatomy; traditions, expectations, and societal definitions of what it means to be a “normal girl” all play a part. When women choose to break these expectations or definitions, not only is it unexpected, but often it is feared or mocked. When we treat “different” as something shameful, it hurts our developing young women. We need to redefine what “feminine” means. It’s time for girls to step up and change the definition “normal girl,” but we can’t do it alone. We need your help  to create Our Own Femininity.

Brittany Simmerman will be a speaker at TEDxTopekaWomen 2016.

Brittany Simmerman: Intensely Sincere & Sincerely Intense: How Women Can Be Emotionally In Tune and Still Badass

Too often, women are judged by their emotions, whether it is being deemed too emotional or too detached, and this can hinder women in the workplace. The focus of this talk is to “own our emotions” in a way that allows us to continue bringing our own unique flair to each job without sacrificing ourselves in the process. It will also  discuss striking a balance between emotional attachment and detachment.

Brittany’s full TEDxTopekaWomen talk:

R. Shawn McBride will be a speaker at TEDxTopekaWomen 2016.

R. Shawn McBride: The Woman’s Advantage in Business Partnerships

A 2014 MIT study found that women-only Business Partnerships achieve a higher-level of cooperation, happiness, and overall job satisfaction than their male counterparts. Yet, women-only business partnerships do not always yield higher productivity. This presentation will help women understand the advantages they have in the workplace and how they can establish better work-related expectations.

Michelle McCormick is a speaker for TEDxTopekaWomen 2016.

Michelle McCormick: How Feminism Taught Me to Care About How We Raise Boys

After years of working with mostly female victims of domestic and sexual violence, Michelle began working in a program designed to offer a change process to abusive men (mostly). This powerful paradigm shift helped her to explore the harmful societal constructs we use to raise boys (“boys don’t cry”, “be a real man”, “show no weakness”) which can cause harm to boys/men and ultimately to girls/women.

These societal constructs have created a version of masculinity that is extreme. Author Jackson Katz calls this “toxic masculinity”. These hyper-masculine standards of what creates a “real man” cheat men from many healthy emotional experiences. Often, they are taught that emotions are feminine and that feminine is weak. If we teach these boys/men that the worst thing they could be in the world is female, how will they learn to value girls/women? If we are to ever prevent and end issues of violence against women, it will be because we changed the way we raise boys and treat men.

Denise Selbee-Koch will be a speaker at TEDxTopekaWomen 2016.

Denise Selbee-Koch: Go Outside!

For most of us, there is something that seems to happen during the middle school years that starts to separate us from taking care of ourselves. We subjugate our true feelings so much that we can become detached from ourselves. We no longer acknowledge what we need to feel calm, relaxed, and content. The societal push to strive, seek, and reach puts aside our true need for connection with nature, ourselves, and each other.

A growing body of research supports the theory that connecting with nature, self, and others is a potential remedy for this problem. We can address depression, anxiety, self concept, feelings of isolation, and stress by simply Going Outside! It isn’t selfish to practice self care – it’s imperative to our health and well being.

Go outside – relax – notice what is around you – breathe – play – adventure!

Alicia Enstrom

Nashville-based violinist Alicia Enstrom emerges as a vocalist and songwriter in her newest album of chamber, indie-pop produced by Jon Estes and titled The Monster Speaks. She recently returned to Nashville after touring the world for nearly ten years. She spent time as the solo violinist/electric violinist for Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam, was the featured violinist for Cirque’s holiday show Wintuk, was invited to Tanglewood as a concertmaster, and also was the lead violinist/fiddler, vocalist, pianist and dancer with the International Violin Show, Barrage.

Lori McMillan

Lori McMillan: Taxation Myths and Realities: What’s the Matter With Kansas?

Taxation is something that everyone has an opinion about, but very few people actually understand. This talk is aimed at exploring the underpinnings of the income tax, and how society needs it to be a fundamentally fair tax. Tax law is, arguably, one of the most reflective of social values, since tax legislation is used not just to raise revenue, but also as a tool to further social and economic policy. One of the most watched “experiments” in taxation has unfolded in Kansas over the last couple of years, and Kansas state taxation policy is an excellent tool for exploring ideas like fairness in building a fiscal system.

Mikki Burcher: #lovethyselfie

An alternative viewpoint on selfies and how they can be used to bolster self-confidence.

Stephanie Mott

Stephanie Mott: Transgender in Kansas: Words That Work

Stephanie Mott shares her journey through isolation and self-hatred to the realization that being transgender is not an issue of morality or character, and the life-changing discovery that all people are worthy by the virtue of their existence. Transgender people are among the most oppressed people in America as well as the least understood. Yet, the vast majority of transgender education taking place today fails to correctly describe the journey of being transgender, even adds to the misunderstandings. This is a presentation on words that work.

David Carter

David Carter: The Power of Humility in the Age of Selfie

In the age of Selfie, large egos, pride and a concern about who gets the credit stifles collaboration and effective leadership. In this discussion, Dr. David W. Carter, the Farley Visiting Professor of Ethics and Leadership at Washburn University, introduces a new concept into 21st century leadership titled The Lesser Seat, a critical analysis of how the best leaders throughout history were not only humble and unpretentious, but also collaborative—selfless instead of self-seeking. Dr. Carter explains the science behind why effective leadership requires both humility and collaboration, rare traits becoming all the more rare in businesses, boardrooms, and, to be sure, across college campuses. This insightful TEDx Topeka talk will inspire the audience—and future leaders—to evoke the words of Helen Keller as they consider their leadership styles: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”