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TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Renee Ward - When the Ordinary Just Won't Do

So often people guard themselves, masking who they are, and the Reverend Renee Ward strives to take these masks off. "Be honest," she says, "and dismiss the pretense that everyone will like you or agree with you." This sounds simple enough. Take the mask off and open yourself for a moment to those things that unite us—love, family, food, music. But what if you're asked to keep the mask off? To keep your guard down? For many years, Ward has successfully done just this. She's courageously championed causes close to her heart without worrying about what people think or whether they agree with her. In 1998, following the death of her husband from an AIDS-related illness, Renee founded Chrysalis Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit agency. Since then she has been featured in a 30-minute documentary entitled, "Who Will Speak for Me?" which profiled African Americans of the Pacific Northwest whose lives had been impacted in some way by HIV/AIDS. She has also established two programs to educate, advocate, and empower those struggling with breast health and cancer. Lately she's been working on four separate books which she plans to release in 2012. All of Ward's actions are informed by her beliefs. "I'm blessed and I am not ashamed to tell the world how good God has been to me." she says. She also believes in fighting against the injustice of social and economic disparities, and she believes in the love of her family, friends, and the community. She takes inspiration from so many people in her life, both allies and adversaries. Together they've taught her to believe in the "power to make the impossible possible, to fight and stand up for justice even when life tries to keep you down, and to keep on truckin' even if you have a flat along the way to your destination." In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Length: 17:37


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