The dream of TEDxCorbin will become a reality Saturday morning when the event kicks off at the Second and Main event space.
The event will feature 17 speakers who will discuss how southeastern Kentucky may move forward while remaining grounded in its Appalachian roots.
Among the scheduled speakers are Alice Tremaine and Melissa Bond.
Tremaine, who was born in Brazil, said she will use her time to discuss how she has made her home in Appalachia.
“It is about losing one’s sense of home and finding it again,” Tremaine said.
Tremaine said when she talks to family and friends in Brazil about life in the United States, they picture New York, Florida or Washington, D.C.
“Most people in Brazil have never heard about Kentucky,” Tremaine said.
“When I’m talking with people about this area, I talk about the sense of community,” Tremaine said.
Tremaine said while she is still considered an outsider in some ways, she has found the people in the area to be extremely generous.
“Being able to interact, and give and receive from this community is what made it home for me,” Tremaine said.
As a chaplain at Baptist Health Corbin, Tremaine said she has seen, first-hand, the quality of health services available in the area.
“Some people are surprised we have such good doctors and good services,” Tremaine said.
“We have people who are very skilled and very good at their jobs. At the same time, you will see them at the coffee shop, church, or while you are out having dinner.”
“People here feel responsible for each other. That is unique to small town and Appalachia,” she said.
Bond is an artist and farmer.
“There are funny and challenging stories that we can take away from observing animals and I’m looking forward to sharing these with our community,” Bond said.
Bond said while TEDxCorbin is about getting the word about what is happening in Appalachia out to the world, she hopes that local people will take the time and opportunity to hear from their neighbors.
“We’re so busy working that we rarely have the chance to pause and reflect, and gives us that chance to celebrate the region’s accomplishments and push ourselves forward to the next opportunity,” Bond said.
“I hope to help people realize they don’t have to try so hard to have a crafted public persona while keeping all their real feelings and challenges bottled inside,” she said. “I’ve noticed farmers can hold back on relying on each other or asking for help because we worry others will judge or think of us as a bad farmer. When in reality, we’re all experiencing the same highs and lows and should work to find community in those things.”
The TEDxCorbin event will begin at 10:30 a.m.
While tickets to the live event are sold out, the event will be broadcast on multiple forums on the internet, including Facebook, Instagram, and at www.tedxcorbin.com.
“We’ll hear from a diversity of voices exploring what it means to move ourselves forward together,” officials stated on the tedxcorbin.com website. “We’ll ground ourselves in the bonds we share and together we’ll examine how we got here and where we go next.”
At 5 p.m., the event will move to The Depot on Main restaurant for a panel discussion entitled, “How to Use Technology to Develop Resilient Economies.”
The panel will discuss how technology may facilitiate collaboration and diversification that will protect business and industry during economic downturns.
The panelists will include:
- Justin Hall, founder of 2819 Studios, and Eastern Kentucky native who launched an initiative to teach computer programing to laid-off coal miners.
- Olivia Thornsbury, a sophomore at Shelby Valley High School, who is one of 33 students operating the AppHarvest AgTech container farm.
- Shelby Valley High School Principal Gregory Napier, who launched an AgTech class in which students operate a container farm used to grow leafy greens.
- Shaping Our Appalachian Region Executive Director Jared Arnet. SOAR is a bipartisan initiative working to improve Eastern Kentucky’s economy and quality of life.