TEDxSpokane, NW Public Employees Diversity Conference, Shonen Knife


What an incredible past 4 days!

Things kicked off on Saturday night in Portland, OR, when my band (The Slants) debuted our new lead singer and shared the stage with Japanese pop punk legends, Shonen Knife. It was an incredible show – many local friends joined us at the show and gave Ken (our singer) a warm welcome.

Early the next day, we drove to Spokane, WA to load in and soundcheck for TEDxSpokane.

On Monday morning, we drove to St. George’s School for the event. I was on double duty that day – speaking on a topic (Give Racism a Chance) and performing. Given some of my recent (as well as previous) encounters in Spokane, it was a timely topic that built upon some of the ideas covered in my TEDxUofW talk.

Thankfully, the talk went really well and it sparked many lively conversations about race, identity, and privilege. Moments after delivering the talk, we began setting up on stage while participants were out to lunch. We moved sound equipment into place and gave the crowd the full “Chinatown Dance Rock” experience:

TED X - SWX 028

We got the audience jumping, clapping, and dancing in the aisles! It was a bit unexpected and it makes me wonder how many other TED events have a full rock band on their stage. After the event, we improved some music and have wonderful exchanges with attendees at the wrap up party.


This morning, I delivered a presentation at the Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference called “Codeswitching and the Language of Social Media: Developing Culturally Competent Communications.”

The slide deck is available in its entirety here.

The presentation was based on three of my previous articles, Codeswitching and the Language of Social Media, How to Reach Out to a Diverse Audience Without Being Offensive, and Using Social Media to Deliver Strategic Communications.


This week, I’ll be performing at my alma mater, Marylhurst University, for a special fundraiser to send their choir to Carnegie Hall.

With any luck, I might get caught up on some sleep too…though most likely not

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