Museums should honor the everyday, not just the extraordinary | Ariana Curtis

Who deserves to be in a museum? For too long, the answer has been “the extraordinary” — those aspirational historymakers who inspire us with their successes. But those stories are limiting, says museum curator Ariana Curtis. In a visionary talk, she imagines how museums can more accurately represent history by honoring the lives of people both extraordinary and everyday, prominent and hidden — and amplify diverse perspectives that should have always been included.

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The story of Marvel’s first queer Latina superhero | Gabby Rivera

With Marvel’s “America Chavez,” Gabby Rivera wrote a new kind of superhero — one who can punch portals into other dimensions while also embracing her gentle, goofy, soft side. In a funny, personal talk, Rivera shares how her own childhood as a queer Puerto Rican in the Bronx informed this new narrative — and shows images from the comic book that reveal what happens when a superhero embraces her humanity. As she says: “That myth of having to go it alone and be tough is not serving us.”

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Is civility a sham? | Teresa Bejan

What exactly is civility, and what does it require? In a talk packed with historical insights, political theorist Teresa Bejan explains how civility has been used as both the foundation of tolerant societies and as a way for political partisans to silence and dismiss opposing views. Bejan suggests that we should instead try for “mere civility”: the virtue of being able to disagree fundamentally with others without destroying the possibility of a common life tomorrow. (This talk contains mature language.)

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How I accidentally changed the way movies get made | Franklin Leonard

How does Hollywood choose what stories get told on-screen? Too often, it’s groupthink informed by a narrow set of ideas about what sells at the box office. As a producer, Franklin Leonard saw too many great screenplays never get made because they didn’t fit the mold. So he started the Black List, an anonymous email that shared his favorite screenplays and asked: Why aren’t we making these movies? Learn the origin story of some of your favorite films with this fascinating insider view of the movie business.

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Why I have coffee with people who send me hate mail | Özlem Cekic

Özlem Cekic’s email inbox has been full of hate mail since 2007, when she won a seat in the Danish Parliament — becoming the first female Muslim to do so. At first she just deleted the emails, dismissing them as the work of fanatics, until one day a friend made an unexpected suggestion: to reach out to the hate mail writers and invite them to meet for coffee. Hundreds of “dialogue coffee” meetings later, Cekic shares how face-to-face conversation can be one of the most powerful forces to disarm hate — and challenges us all to engage with people we disagree with.

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Intimate photos of a senior love triangle | Isadora Kosofsky

Photographer and TED Fellow Isadora Kosofsky is a chronicler of love, loss and loneliness. In this searching talk, she shares photos from her four years documenting the lives of a senior citizen love triangle — and reveals what they can teach us about the universal search for identity and belonging.

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The press trampled on my privacy. Here’s how I took back my story | Kate Stone

After a horrific accident put her in the tabloid headlines, Kate Stone found a way to take control of her narrative — and help prevent others from losing their privacy, too. Learn how she reclaimed her story in this personal talk infused with humor and courage.

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How I went from child refugee to international model | Halima Aden

Halima Aden made history when she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of Vogue magazine. Now she returns to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp — where she was born and lived until the age of seven — to share an inspiring message about what she’s learned on the path from child refugee to international model.

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How urban spaces can preserve history and build community | Walter Hood

Can public spaces both reclaim the past and embrace the future? Landscape architect Walter Hood has explored this question over the course of an iconic career, with projects ranging from Lafayette Square Park in San Francisco to the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. In this inspiring talk packed with images of his work, Hood shares the five simple concepts that guide his approach to creating spaces that illuminate shared memories and force us to look at one another in a different way.

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How teachers can help kids find their political voices | Sydney Chaffee

Social justice belongs in our schools, says educator Sydney Chaffee. In a bold talk, she shows how teaching students to engage in activism helps them build important academic and life skills — and asks us to rethink how we can use education to help kids find their voices. “Teaching will always be a political act,” Chaffee says. “We can’t be afraid of our students’ power. Their power will help them make tomorrow better.”

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