TEDxSalem, Latino Network, and Jade District recap

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend!


Things kicked off at Noche Bella, the annual fundraising gala for the Latino Network. It was a beautiful event and I’m pleased to report that we helped raise over $30,000 for their incredible services. They had some especially moving videos that showed the power of their services on the community.

Early the next morning, I met my band to load equipment and drive down to Salem for the TEDxSalem event. I was honored to speak and perform at the event…and had some great press coverage for it too, like this opinion piece I wrote for the Portland Tribune based on my talk, having our band on the front cover of Salem Weekly,  and some pieces in the Statesmen Journal.

Here are some photos of our pre-show shenanigans:

IMG_20140913_081058_260 IMG_20140913_081048_268 IMG_20140913_081118_487 IMG_20140913_103602_676

The theme for their event was “moxie:”



One of the many highlights was that they showed one of my favorite TED talks, the Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. They further reinforced this experience by having an actress portray an 8 foot bride giving away flowers outside:


She was actually painted earlier, though I missed it. And when I sent this photo to Amanda Palmer, she immediately shared it:


The talk went much better this time around than my first time on the TEDx stage, where I was a little rattled by nerves. For TEDxSalem, I delivered a concise talk about the power of language – “Your life has a word count, make every word count.” And after the lunch break, our band delivered some back-to-back face-melting rock. Someone later told me, “you got Salem to stand up and fist pump, it was awesome!”

When the event was over, we drove straight back to Portland and got back in time for the Jade District Night Market, an event that I’ve been volunteering with for the past month. It was an Asian-styled community market with food, performances, and crafts that was drawing over 5,000 people per night.

At the market, I ran into Portland’s first lady, Nancy Hales, who kindly bought me some empanadas while we talked about sustainability and equity in the city. I also discussed the many race/equity issues that Portland’s higher education institutions and nonprofits were facing with Anita Yap as well.

Nancy Hales, me, Tyler Chen, Chanda Chen
Nancy Hales, me, Tyler Chen, Chanda Chen

It was a very long and productive day…which meant I needed to continue the momentum today as well!

This morning, I went to KBOO’s “Funky Legendary” sale of books and records to support the community station. As a bit of bookworm, I couldn’t help myself from buying 5 giant stacks of books to add to the collection. It was all going to a good cause anyway.


After that, I spent the next 11 hours working on my newest TED talk for TEDxSpokane (next month). This one will be the most research-heavy one yet, but it’s an important idea that I believe is definitely worth sharing. More on that soon.

For now, I think I’ll do some bedtime reading!

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