Now in its 10th season, EDTalks features compelling short talks and Q&A on a wide range of issues impacting young people and public education.

events calendar

EDTalks audience image

What is EDTalks?

Launched in 2012 and based on the TEDTalks model, EDTalks raises public awareness of critical topics and strengthens community engagement and advocacy with and on behalf of our young people. It also provides a platform for creative leaders to showcase innovative ideas, share successes in their work, gain insight and feedback from colleagues, connect with community audiences and identify growth opportunities.

Each EDTalks event features two presentations and concludes with Q & A, ensuring that our speakers and audiences have opportunities for conversation and deeper dives into the evening’s topics. Traditionally hosted in front of a live audience, EDTalks went virtual for the 2020-21 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether live or virtual, our goal is that our audience emerges more informed, curious, energized and ready to find new ways to support our young people. 

More about our tenth season

This year we're highlighting "emerging voices" from the education, equity and youth development spaces who are addressing critical issues impacting our young people, schools and public education, such as:

  • Young leaders in these and related fields who are providing fresh perspectives and approaches.
  • Thought leaders and practitioners who are in new positions of leadership or offering creative new ideas and questioning the status quo.
  • Seasoned leaders who are new to presenting in a public forum or who have limited public speaking experience.

upcoming events

Share your voice as an EDTalks speaker

EDTalks is committed to selecting speakers who are passionate about their subject matter and represent the communities we serve. Our selection process is guided by these equity values: embracing differences – race, culture, religion, ability, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and class – eliminating racism and other forms of bias, and creating inclusive spaces where all persons feel valued, heard and respected.

All speakers have been selected for the 2021-22 season, but we are always looking for recommendations for future seasons. Do you have an idea for a speaker or topic? Are you personally interested in presenting as part of EDTalks?

Reach out today

Become an EDTalks partner

We’re always looking for new EDTalks partners to collaborate on programming, financial support and promotion.

This is a great opportunity for your organization to affiliate with a well-established program that is increasing visibility on critical public education and equity issues, supporting emerging leaders and strengthening community engagement on behalf of our young people.

learn more

Emcee, Adia Morris, sits on stage with two speakers during the Q&A segment
Screenshot of a virtual event with speakers Dr. Courtney Bell and Derek Francis
Close up of a speaker on stage at Icehouse
Side by side picture of speakers from Youth Leadership Institute presenting on stage
Screenshot of virtual event with speakers Zara Zanussi and Laichia Vang
Speaker Salma Hussein pictured on stage at Icehouse
Screenshot of virtual event with Dr. Lanise Block and Jamil Stamschror-Lott

Explore our EDTalks Video Library

2021-2022 Season

How Young People Can Co Lead the Education Transformation We Need | Presenter: Walter Cortina, President and Co-Founder, Bridgemakers | April 26, 2022 | Virtual

Kids Changing Education Systems vs. Education Systems Changing Kids | Presenters: Kyra, Jamya and Octivious, Young Leaders, St. Paul Youth Services’ YouthPowerMN Leadership Institute | April 26, 2022 | Virtual

Zero Debt College: A New Reality for Fosters | Presenter: Hannah Planalp, Program Manager, Foster Advocates | March 28, 2022 | Virtual

Creating Anti Racist Third Spaces In and Out of the Classroom | Presenter: Jeannine Erickson, Writer's Room Manager, 826 MSP | March 28, 2022 | Virtual

Reframing Music Education: The Key to Closing Minnesota's Opportunity Gap | Presenter: Sara Zara Zanussi, Founder and Former Executive Director of ComMUSICation | February 23, 2022 | Virtual

Exploring the Loss of Language and Identity in Education | Presenter: Laichia Vang, High School Student and Activist, Roseville Area High School | February 23, 2022 | Virtual

PSEO As a Bridge from High School to College | Presenter: Maria Wright, Director of Dual Enrollment, St Cloud State University | January 19, 2022 | Virtual

How PSEO is a Game Changer for High School Students | Presenters: Asiya Browne and Zeke Jackson, University of Minnesota Students and People for PSEO Leaders | January 19, 2022 | Virtual

How Parent Fundraising Perpetuates Racial Disparities in Minneapolis Public Schools | Presenter: Sara Spafford Freeman, Consultant, SFF Strategies and community organizer | December 8, 2021 | Virtual

The Wide-Reaching Impacts of Philanthropy in Education | Presenter: Amal Karim, Impact Officer, The Constellation Fund | December 8, 2021 | Virtual

2020-2021 Season

How to Lead So Adults Will Listen (and Other Lessons from Young People) | Presenter: Mikisha Nation, Executive Director, Teach For America Twin Cities | June 14, 2021 | Virtual

Youth Perspectives on Reimagining Equitable Youth Work | Presenters: Xe Chang, Senam Akyea, Jolie Vu and Paw Gee, Youth Leadership Initiative | June 14, 2021 | Virtual

The Power of Education in Disrupting Generational Poverty | Presenter: Chastity Lord, President & CEO, Jeremiah Program | May 4, 2021 | Virtual

Education and Technology Access - Jim Crow in the New World Order | Presenter: Ini Augustine, Founder, Project Nandi | May 4, 2021 | Virtual

Cultural Responsiveness In and Out of the Classroom | Presenter: Dr. Courtney Bell-Duncan, Educator and Founder of Courtney S. Bell Consulting LLC | February 8, 2021 | Virtual

Let’s Talk About Race in School | Presenter: Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services, Minneapolis Public Schools | February 8, 2021 | Virtual

Where is Mental Health in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Work? | Presenter: Jamil Stamschror-Lott, Mental Health Practitioner and Co-founder, Creative Kuponya | January 14, 2021 | Virtual

Developing an Equity Leadership Identity | Presenter: Dr. Lanise Block, Educator, Founder and CEO, Sankore Consulting | January 14, 2021 | Virtual

From "Adequate" to "Quality": A Constitutional Amendment for Minnesota Students | Presenters: Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Justice Alan Page, Co-founder of the Page Education Foundation | October 21, 2020 | Virtual

Learn to Read, Learn to Lead | Presenter: Dr. Artika Tyner, Director and Co-Founder of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice at the University of St Thomas School of Law | October 5, 2020 | Virtual

Changing Outcomes for Black Males | Presenter: Michael Walker, Director of the Office of Black Student Achievement, Minneapolis Public Schools | October 5, 2020 | Virtual

2019-2020 Season

Girls Inc.: Creating Pro-Girl Environments | Presenters: Louise and Sophie, Youth Leaders, and Elena Gustafson, After-School Coordinator, Girls Inc. YWCA Minneapolis | March 2, 2020 | Live in-person

The Stars and The Blackness Between Them - Writing About Queer Young Black Love | Presenter: Junauda Petrus-Nasah, Author and Activist | March 2, 2020 | Live in-person

Igniting Civic Engagement Through Service Learning | Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Leadership Council | February 24, 2020 | Live in-person

How to Raise Tech Healthy Kids | Presenter: Dave Eisenmann, Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services for Minnetonka Public Schools | January 13, 2020 | Live in-person

It's Complicated: Students, Social Media and Mental Health | Presenter: Erin Walsh, Co-Founder, Spark & Stitch Institute| January 13, 2020 | Live in-person

Washburn Blackbox Theatre - Creating Change In and Out of the Classroom | Presenters: Crystal Spring, Washburn High School Theatre Teacher Washburn High School Blackbox Theatre students | November 18, 2019 | Live in-person

The Voices Framework - How Student Stories Can Transform Schools | Presenters: Josh Fraser, Principal at Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM Ambar Hanson, Community Relationship Officer for the Mortenson Family Foundation Expanding Opportunities for Children and Families program area | November 18, 2019 | Live in-person

Our EDTalks partners

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