How to Create Unity In Diversity: TEDx SUU

Perspectives and ideas about ‘unity in diversity’ were presented to a full but socially distant TEDx SUU audience in the Sterling R. Church auditorium Tuesday. Questions for self reflection such as, “How did you behave with the last person you met?” and “How is the way you were raised affecting your treatment of others?” were asked by student, faculty and community presenters.

They spoke from the red circle stage, the trademark of a TED event, giving ways to find unity in diversity. This included topics like recognizing microaggression, better supporting the LGBTQ community and overcoming distinguishing boundaries. 

“Although experiences may differ, everyone knows what it’s like to be mistreated. We cannot make light of anyone’s experience,” emphasized student speaker Tiffany Chin to the audience. “We need to be willing to educate and be educated…on how to treat each other. There’s not one size fits all for how we treat people.”

TED operates under the theme “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx SUU has been in the works since late spring and has a team of around 24 people working together to create the event.

The presenters chosen were those that have sought to improve the Cedar City community. They have raised awareness for and acceptance of diversity in their field, as well as helping those around them find success.  

“We looked at people who were making a difference in the community quietly so that we could give a voice to those who may not have the opportunity to have a voice elsewhere,” said student event director Sara McGriff.

University President Scott Wyatt emphasized the importance of retaining and applying what is learned at TEDx SUU and similar events.

“Learning takes effort. You have to spend time and devote energy to learning and transforming your life,” Wyatt told the audience. “Focus on the effort to become better. Look for ways that you can prove yourself wrong. Find people that you don’t understand and become their friend.”

Presenters gave audience members several takeaways, including an invitation by Army Sergeant Thomis Tobin to focus more on what is unifying and encouragement from grocery decor company COO Tenia Wallace to share both the excitements and roadblocks in the pursuit of passion. 

“I just thought it was cool to learn about all the little things that you can say that can have an effect on people, and how realizing that is a good step forward,” said sophomore attendee Taylor Drew. “After learning all of this I’ll pay better attention to what I say and what impact it has on people and own up to it. We all have our own struggles, and we’re not gonna get through anything together if we’re not together. “

Story By: Larissa Beatty

Photos by Mitchell Quartz