By Anna Hueg – [email protected]
An author, musician and TV producer walk into a comedy club.
What might sound like the start of a joke will come to life at 6 p.m. on Wed. April 5 as students, staff, faculty and alumni talent gathers together for CSB/SJU REDTalks.
The event is held in Minneapolis at the Brave New Workshop’s Experimental Thinking Centre, an innovative event space in downtown Minneapolis.
REDTalks features eight 10-minute-long talks from faculty, staff, current students and young and seasoned alumni.
The assortment of speakers looks to highlight the diversity of the CSB/SJU community’s talents.
The one common thread? Imparting inspiration.
“We want people to walk away feeling inspired,” said Kristin Lyman, alumni director and liason to the Young Alum Committee who sponsors this event.
Inspiration will come in many forms during REDTalks through a mix of lighthearted talks balanced with serious or academic talks and even some “wild cards” thrown in, as Lyman likes to refer to them.
REDTalk topics are curated throughout the year and strive to be a reflection of what’s happening within the CSB/SJU community. These talks are a snapshot of other events that have come to life on and off campus.
Take CSB/SJU accounting professor and author Boz Bostrom, for example.
Bostrom recently finished writing a book about former St. John’s football coach John Gagliardi titled, “Legacy Unrivaled.” His talk will give audiences an opportunity to learn more about the life of John Gagliardi and his legacy as detailed in Bostrom’s book. Bostrom’s goal is to share personal examples of Gagliardi that leave the audience feeling inspired.
Student group Extending the Link (ETL) will also be presenting at REDTalks about their documentary on electronic waste, which will premier on CSB/SJU campuses in April.
Like Bostrom, REDTalks gives ETL a platform to teach people about their work and why it matters.
“I hope that the biggest takeaway is that [the audience] realizes they can make an impact with this social justice issue,” said Erin Beacom, CSB senior and one of ETL’s co-directors. “They can help change where the world is going with electronic waste.”
In “Transgender Possibilities,” Liam Lair has a similar goal of social justice change with his presentation on “Transgender Possibilities.”
Lair’s formula for creating a 10-minute message on the topic was simple start with an “ah ha” moment, tell people why it matters and then share an action.
For Lair, this “ah ha” moment comes from the possibilities that come with gender.
“I started identifying as trans because I saw what was possible in terms of gender,” Lair said. “So I want to make that applicable to all of us in terms of expanding what’s possible in terms of gender, gender expression, gender identity.”
Lair is not the only speaker at REDTalks who will share his personal story. Fan Li will perform the guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument that she has been playing since age seven. She began playing guzheng even after she was cautioned of the instrument’s difficulty.
To Li, the purpose of REDTalks is to think about diversity.
“We just share our unique experiences and unique opinion about one thing or one topic,” Li said. “I think it encourages people to think about more experiences in their life.”
Lyman believes the talks create new learning opportunities.
“When their passion shines through, and you just see into this world that you’ve never even thought about, those are my favorite moments,” she said.
For those interested in watching REDTalks from campus, there will be a live screening event from 6-8:30 p.m. on April 5 in Upper Gorecki.
REDTalks can be accessed for online streaming with the following link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/csbsjuadmin/