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4 TED Talks by Caribbean American Women You Should Watch

Ted Talks by Caribbean American women christine souffrant felecia hatcher somara theodore Kristina Newman Scott

What are TED Talks?

TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design – which represented the topics the conference initially covered when it first began in 1984.Today, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). It has also expanded to cover almost all topics ranging from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

What’s a TEDx?

Meanwhile, TEDx are local, independently run events that help share ideas in communities around the world. TEDx are live TED-like talks and it also shares with the community videos previously recorded at TED conferences.

I’ve watched many TedTalks and TedX’s, and often times we hear about and see TED talks by successful mainstream business people, author, scientist, educator etc more widely circulated.

So I’ve compiled a playlist of my favorite TED Talks by Caribbean Americans. However for Women’s History month, I’ve highlighted these 4 Ted Talks by Caribbean American Women.

What is fi yu cyan un fi yu

TEDxSMU

Kristina Newman-Scott, a Jamaican American is the Director of Culture for the State of Connecticut where she oversees all aspects of the state’s programs and services related to art, culture and historic preservation.

Newman-Scott remembers her Grandmother’s constant reminder of a Jamaican Proverb “What is fi yu cyan un fi yu” – which translates to “If it belongs to you it is already yours and if it doesn’t it wasn’t meant for you in the first place.” And how this proverb guided her through every important decision she’s had to make in her life. Her talk highlights the influence of Grandmothers, Caribbean Parent’s expectations of their children and their careers as well as the Caribbean Culture influence. This TedX will inspire you to pursue your dreams and that they will eventually come true if you remember “What is fi yu cyan un fi yu”.

The Pattern of Small Moves

TEDxUOWD
Christine Souffrant is a Haitian American entrepreneur and the founder of Vendedy (a mobile network connecting global travelers to street markets). She currently is the Managing Director of Startup Grind Dubai, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs-interviewing leading CEO’s and startup influencers in the Middle East & Silicon Valley.

In this TedX Christine suggests that “the next time someone says the secret to success is to follow your passion”, one should respond “thanks, for nothing”. Why? Because it’s a generic advice that is widely used yet it’s illusive because our passion changes all the time. Instead Christine suggests, one follow the patterns because they are reliable, repeatable tendencies. She explains how using her “ATE” method can help you identify your patterns.

This TedX will inspire you because if you’ve struggled with identifying a passion, now you have been validated about why that was challenging. If you’ve already found a passion/pattern – this talk will help you refine it even more.

Tell Your Failure Story

TEDxJamaica

Felecia Hatcher is the Co-Founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week.  Code Fever is an initiative that trains African-American and Caribbean youth and young adults  in the areas of technology and entrepreneurship. In addition, Hatcher founded Feverish Pops a Miami based gourmet popsicle manufacturing company with clients like Google, Airbnb, Paypal and Wholefoods.

In this TedX, Hatcher advocates more transparent discussion of failure as a recipe for success. When someone else shares their failure story, it gives you hope because they often time gives you perspective because often time success and failure doesn’t look like what they’re suppose to look like. So when failure happens, we are devastated. She  points out that the failure story is part of the entrepreneurial process and life process and should be shared more often. You have to trust the process.  Hatcher describes the failures that formed the pillars of her success with Feverish.

The evolving identity of a first generation American

TEDxCreativeCoast
Somara Theodore is a Trinidadian American. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and she is currently a Meteorologist at the NBC affiliate in Washington DC.

In this TEDx, Somara talks about the complexities and evolving identity of Caribbean American. She states that the first generation American identity doesn’t have a starting point or an end point but rather flows. For some the challenge is trying to balance between two different cultures for others there isn’t a challenge. What is culture? How do you identify with culture? She goes in-depth about identity switching or “code switching” depending on the environment. In a recent podcast episode, Alysia and I discussed “code switching” and other aspects of being Caribbean born in America and being Caribbean American – American born to Caribbean parents or grandparents.

Check out our full list of TED Talks by Caribbean or Caribbean American featuring both men and women.

Your Turn

Let us know in the comments your favorite TED talks by Caribbean Americans that should make our playlist.

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