TEDxDonovanCorrectional 2017: Beyond the Surface

Beyond the surface of fences and walls, TEDxDonovanCorrectional represents an expression of ideals, thoughts and emotions that collectively have the power to expand hearts, transform minds and liberate spirits.

In the spirit of world-renowned TED Talks, TEDxDonovanCorrectional – a unique gathering focused on inspiration, transformation and interaction – took place at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

The independently organized event featured a broad spectrum of TEDx Talks from men on the inside and from outside community members under the theme “Beyond the Surface.” The process of organizing TEDxDonovanCorrectional fully engaged the prison inmate population. A Core Team of ten inmates strategized, planned, and facilitated the event from beginning to end, supported by a group of local TEDx volunteers.

“Beyond the Surface” is a journey into the unseen! This theme demands of us to participate in a mind-altering interaction that will challenge perceived notions, uproot entrenched biases and soften hardened stereotypes. Our intent was to scratch the surface of what may be beyond our existing perceptions and take our hearts to places we never knew existed.


Inside Speakers

John Scimmel’s “Deconstructing the Halo Effect of Racism and Sterotypes”

Lionell Tholmer’s “The Meaning of Love”

Stephen Davis’ “In Search of Purpose”

Billy Johnson’s “Hope Through Self-Forgiveness”


Outside Speakers

Marcia Hale’s “Dancing Instead of Crashing”

Scott Sargeant’s “The Truth Will Set You Free”

Shelley Wright’s “Answering Interstellar Calls”

Mario Torero’s “Art Can Save Your Life”

Beto Vasquez’s “Redefining Normal”


Outside Performer

Eric Genius’ “Here I Am”

Eric Genius’ “Butterfly”

Eric Genuis’ “Mercy”