Since the beginning of civilization, the campfire has been a place for people to come together – a place to tell stories, learn from each other, and gain a sense of belonging and community.
TEDxSoMa welcomes you to our modern campfire, where we’ll share new ideas that will shape our future together. We’ll be having conversations about masculinity, religion, mindfulness in policing, the hierarchy of language, facts vs. truth, and more.
Speaker + Performers
Yoni Alkan is a sexual educator and consultant with a master’s degree in conflict resolution and mediation, and a doctorate degree in human sexuality. He is a professional cuddler with Cuddlist.com as well as a Certified Cuddle Party Facilitator. Yoni is a global speaker on human sexuality with expertise in alternative relationships, dating, and safe touch and consent advocacy. He is the creator of www.elementsofsexuality.com, a playful, geeky, and educational site about the elements that contribute to our sexuality. He is also the author of The Book of Cuddles, an instructional book for cuddling.
Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer and historian. The recipient of the 2014 Jackson Literary award, she’s the author of Quiéreme and ¡Cuéntamelo!, an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT Latinx immigrants that won a 2018 Lambda Literary Award and a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award. She’s received fellowships from Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts, Lambda Literary Foundation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and The SF Grotto, and an individual artist grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Eleven Eleven, Midnight Breakfast, Foglifter, Four Way Review, Broadly, and TimeOut Mag. She’s the creative director of RADAR Productions, a queer literary non-profit. Follow her @julianadlopera.
fnnch believes art is for everyone. Only about 5% of residents and visitors tour their city’s modern art museum. Street art and murals are art for the other 95%, acting to inspire and engage them with the arts. When fnnch moved to San Francisco, he became obsessed with street art but felt there were not enough people pushing the art form forward. Deciding to be the change he wanted to see in the world, he hit the streets with multi-layered stencils and spray paint. Since then he has built a strong social media presence with over 62,000 followers on Instagram. He has been featured on the cover of the SF Chronicle and by brands like J.Crew, TOMS Shoes, and Benefit Cosmetics, and has had gallery shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles. His art can be found in San Francisco, LA, New York, Miami, Chicago, St. Louis and Tel Aviv.
Mazin is the founder and director of Holistic Underground, a community organization providing personal and professional development to leaders, creatives, and change agents. As an artist, Mazin consistently redesigns his identity and expression with the goal of embodying authenticity and integrity consistently in a world that rewards conformity. As an activist, he seeks to hold himself and other men accountable to the spoken and unspoken agreements that allow for joy and justice in our community. As a coach, he supports leaders and executives to consistently live by their values. As a student, he is on a life-long journey to develop his skills in consent, accountable leadership, and empowering allyship, and bringing as many people with power and privilege as he can along with him.
Yvonne Leow believes the world is made of stories. As a journalist and media entrepreneur, Yvonne has spent years studying how narratives shape digital communities. Previously, she was a co-founder of By The Bay, a nonpartisan media company covering local elections, and the president of the Asian American Journalists Association, an international nonprofit advancing diversity in journalism. In 2017, she created The Hello Project, a nationwide social experiment matching people with opposing political beliefs through one-on-one video conversations. Prior to that, she was the senior Snapchat editor at Vox and the youngest John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. She has also worked at Digital First Media and The Associated Press.
A California native, Sylvia serves as the Chief of Police in Tempe, Arizona. She has over 30 years of municipal police experience, eight of those as a police chief. Sylvia gained operational, investigative, managerial, and strategic experience in Northern California – practice that shaped how she leads now. She appreciates the rewards and challenges of modern policing in complex environments and in diverse communities. She uses mindfulness and meditation to expand her humanity in service of people and contributes on specific executive boards to strengthen her profession. Sylvia is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, and the Naval Postgraduate School- Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Bishop William Swing is the President and Founding Trustee of United Religions Initiative (URI). The idea for URI came to Bishop Swing in 1993 after an invitation by the United Nations to host a large interfaith service in San Francisco, marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.N. Charter. URI now has over 955 Cooperation Circles in 108 countries. Bishop Swing served as the Episcopal Bishop of California from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. In that capacity, he led the international Anglican response to the AIDS crisis, co-founded Episcopal Community Services to address San Francisco’s homeless problem, and co-founded Community Bank of the Bay. Swing is the author and co-author of several books, including The Sacred and the Silly: A Bishop’s Playful and Eventful Life; A Bishop’s Quest: Founding a United Religions; The Coming United Religions; co-author, Building Wisdom’s House, and contributor to Andrei Sakharov, The Conscience of Humanity.
TWObigsteps is a contemporary dance collective driven to expanding art and communities through a collaborative, creative process. Composed of emerging artists from diverse backgrounds and regions, TWObigsteps strives to convene multidisciplinary creations, allowing concepts to be translated into various mediums. TWObigsteps has performed works in San Francisco and Vancouver, including Dance in Vancouver, West Wave Dance Festival, and SPLIT/ BILL, a co-produced a evening of shared works. In addition to performance, TWObigsteps has been active in community engagement workshops, including the facilitation of a workshop for young dance artists, ‘Sessions,’ and participation in the Youth Engagement Program presented by the Dance Centre.