5 TED Talks By Latinas You Need To See

Photo by zakokor/iStock / Getty Images

TED talks are short presentations of ideas in fields like science, technology, business, culture, art and design. Over the years, these TED or TEDx talks have been made by many from around the world and have gone on to influence the masses.

We rounded up some of our favorite by 5 #FiercelyLatinas that will inspire you to redefine perceptions of feminism, sexual assault, education, and beauty. 

 

Isabel Allende on telling "Tales of passion":
Acclaimed Chilean-American writer and activist, Isabel Allende, discusses the subject of passion and feminism in this fascinating talk. She shares her personal encounters with women whose passionate commitments to the greater good have inspired not only her, but also the characters in her stories. Allende then explores the concept, benefits, and evolution of feminism with extraordinary wit, saying, "Empowering them [women] will change everything --more than technology and design and entertainment. I can promise you that women working together -- linked, informed and educated -- can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet."

Inés Hercovich on "Why women stay silent after sexual assault":
Hercovich is a sociologist, social psychologist, and pioneer in the study of sexual assault against women; founding the first crisis service for victims of sexual assault in 1990. In this powerful and moving talk, Hercovich provides insight into what sexual assault looks like (it's not how law and society has defined it), and why women who experience it rarely speak up. She explains that we (society) victimize or blame the victim as a way of avoiding our own discomfort and if we continue to do so "we will continue to be unable to listen. Women will continue to be unable to speak. And we will all continue to be responsible for that silence and their solitude."

Maria Hinojosa's "From invisible to visible":  
Executive Producer and host of NPR's Latino USA, Maria Hinojosa, explains how the lack of diversity in the media and her experience as a Mexican-American compelled her to become a journalist that covers stories of individuals that are rarely seen. She describes how significant it is for the media to be inclusive as it inspires individuals to create change. She says, "this visibility that we give is actually helping people navigate an America that is becoming increasingly complex and increasingly diverse."

Nadia Lopez's "Why Open a School? To Close a Prison":
Nadia Lopez is the principal and founder of New York's Mott Hall Bridges Academy--a middle school in the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, one of the poorest areas of New York. In her talk, she addresses the fact that her students daily work against the odds with 100% of her students living below the poverty line, 86% are below grade level in math and English, and 30% have special needs. Still, she says, these factors will not hinder her ability to help her students and their ability for a brighter future. Her hands-on approach with her students (she reads with them, helps hem with their homework, and eats lunch with them) is an encouraging and positive outlook in education, saying, "We must empower our learners and we must build up their self-esteem before we hand out suspensions."

Lizzie Velasquez on "How Do You Define Yourself?":
At 17 years old, Lizzie Velasquez was once labeled, "The Worlds Ugliest Woman," in a YouTube video back in 2006. Since then, she has devoted much of her time as an anti-bullying activist and motivational speaker. In this inspiring talk, Velasquez touches on how she managed to flip the switch on her bullies and has created her own definition of herself. She closes out her remarks by encouraging others that, “You are the one who decides what defines you. Never allow your outer appearance or your disabilities to define you. Use your skills, achievements and accomplishments to define who you are. Use the negative things in your life, turn them around, use them as a ladder to climb up in life.”