TEDx Talks

TEDxGrandRapids– May 2013

On May 9th, 2013, I was honored to talk at TEDxGrandRapids to an amazing audience of forward-thinking and socially conscious West Michiganians. Inspired by TED, and independently organized by a group of Grand Rapidians who believe in the power of ideas to change the world, TEDxGrandRapids invites leading thinkers and doers to participate in an inspiring day of thought-provoking presentations, performances and conversations.

When the curators of TEDxGrandRapids invited me to join 12 other speakers, engaging an audience of 750 leaders, influencers and creatives from the West-Michigan area, they asked what I would like to talk about. I had previously been privileged to speak at TEDxGateway in Mumbai, India, where I laid out the foundational issues underlying gendercide. This time, I wanted to address a question that has repeatedly come up as I speak at screenings and events related to It’s a Girl and the campaign to end gendercide in India and China. “Who are we to say that cultural practices like son preference are bad?” Is it the business of members of the world community like you and I to judge other nation’s cultural practices and demand change when we don’t agree?

In this talk at TEDxGrandRapids, I explore the questions, what is culture? is it always a-moral? does the world community have any moral responsibility to act in the face of human rights violations that result from diverse cultural traditions? I also share some of my own personal story and journey.

You can see the talk below, and the transcript of the talk can be read here.

TEDxGateway– December 2012

I was honored to join a select group of speakers at the December 2nd, 2012 TEDxGateway event in Mumbai, India. The largest TEDx event in South Asia,
TEDxGateway draws an audience of nearly 1000 leaders and influencers from India and throughout the region to hear short talks on “ideas worth spreading”.  The talks cover innovative and engaging topics ranging from new technology to social and medical concerns.

I presented some short scenes from the film along with hard-hitting statistics from India and China that provided the audience with an astounding picture of the scope of gendercide and it’s impact on millions of girls throughout the world today, and then challenged all present to join in the fight to end it.

It was a great privilege for me to stand on that prestigious red circle on the stage in Mumbai and connect with influencers from throughout India about what we can do to work together to end the social evil of gendercide. Judging by the collective gasps coming from the audience when I showed segments from the film, they seemed to have been deeply impacted.

Evan speaking at TEDx

It’s easy to assume that Indians are fully aware of the problem, but I’ve found that while everyone is familiar with the general issue, many in India are still shocked when we present the full scope of the assault on women and girls.
Reaching the Indian audience with this important message is a priority for us, and so we have committed to making the film available at a significant discount to those who will host screenings in communities throughout India. Our hope is that those who attended will share the film and engage their circles of influence in exploring solutions to restore dignity and worth to the girls of India.

You can see my TEDxGateway talk here: