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Conference Schedule

Truth or dare? At TEDxMemphis, participants did both — we dared you to seek the truth at this 901-of-a-kind experienced on Saturday, February 11, 2023!

Courage looks different for everyone, but it’s something we are all called to display at some point or another. TEDxMemphis Truth or Dare, the 2023 conference theme, explored bravery through the lens of the classic party game we all experienced in childhood. We might not have realized it then, but the heart-pounding sensation when your turn was called was your first step into the unknown. Those tiny steps forward propelled your thinking and now impact your daily decision-making. Whether you’re choosing to venture into the vulnerability of truth or exploring a new daring opportunity, how will you show your bravery?

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the movers, shakers, and momentum-makers that are shaping our community for the better. 

2023 speakers' talks ranged from the benefits of garden tourism and the psychology of interior design to leadership lessons from horses. Attendees emerged from the auditorium energized to activate and celebrate our city


2023 Conference Details

Session 1:

9:30am-12:00pm (Doors open at 9:00am)

Roshun Austin | Community + Social Services Visionary
A Great Awakening for Building Community

Jennifer Balink | Creative Strategist + Family Connector
The Cave You Fear to Enter

Kelly English | Executive Chef + Restaurant Owner + James Beard Award Semifinalist
The Fear of Being First


Kim Halyak | City Champion of Garden Tourism

Neighborhood Beautification Grows Greenbacks

Carmeon Hamilton | Environmental Curator + Content Creator + HGTV star

Environmental Truths

David Jamison II | “The Dope Educator”

From Counted Out to Counted On

Sam O’Bryant | Literacy Advocate

From Desert to Oasis: Literacy as Liberation

Matt Ross-Spang | Record Producer + Grammy Award-Winning Engineer & Mixer

Let it Be: Perfectly Imperfect!


Lar’Juanette Williams | Award-Winning Singer, Dancer, Actress & Writer + Arts Administrator

LIFE -- Two Choices: Ascend to Your Purpose or Fall for the Gimmick

Session 2:

1:30pm-4:00pm (Doors open at 1:00pm)

Janet Boscarino | Sustainability Supporter + Co-Founder of Clean Memphis

Environment & Us: What Students Can Teach Us


Fletcher Cleaves | Motivational Speaker + Advocate for Accessibility

The Dangers of the World's Smallest Slot Machine

Dwayne Spencer | Affordable Housing Advocate

What My Childhood in Substandard Housing Taught Me About Social Determinants of Health


Kathleen Terry-Sharp | Equine Experiential Educator

Horses, Hippogriffs, & Insights for Humanity

Subha Vadlamannati | Teenage Nonprofit Founder + Passionate Linguistics Scholar

Are We Ignoring 3 Billion Voices?

Yancy Villa | Socially Engaged Artist

Life Interrupted: The Journey of an Artist Living as Form

Darius Wallace | Award-Winning Performer + Speaking Coach

Storytelling is a Yoga of the Soul

Kirk Whalum | Soulful Grammy Award-Winning Saxophonist + Songwriter

Meaning, What You Think You Know Can Change in an Instant

Meet the Host! 

_TEDxMemphis Speaker Graphics 2023.jpg

Ephie Johnson is the President & CEO of Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc. (NCC), a nonprofit, Christian organization that employs over 60 staff members and provides many programs and assistance for over 50,000 neighbors in need annually. She is a Memphis native, a graduate of Treadwell High School and The University of Memphis, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in technical writing. She worked as an educator in the Memphis City School System for a number of years before serving at NCC. Along with a committed staff, she has a heart for the Memphis community, she is committed to the plight of the reducing poverty in this country. Ephie and her mother, Dr. JoeAnn Ballard, were featured in a Segment of the Today Show’s “Season of Giving” series in November of 2020, shedding light on NCC’s heart for Memphis and the families that they serve.

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