TEDxUTD Conference 2016: Meet Keilah Jacques!

Can you believe that our Conference is just three days away? We can hardly believe it and we are hosting it! We are so excited to be celebrating innovation and ideas with our community!

We introduce to you our Non-Profit Speaker, Keilah Jacques!


According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, food is foundational prerequisite for basic human functioning, let alone achieving self-actualization. Thus, the saying is true, you are what you eat…and inversely are what you don’t eat. 36% of Dallas area Zip codes contain areas of limited access to affordable and nutritious food, which contributes to high rates of child obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related health problems. Prioritizing programs and policies that support individuals and families in eating healthier is a key part of a comprehensive citywide approach to improving the lives of Dallas residents. Furthermore, a healthy corner store program can also complement and even bolster other initiatives aimed at improving Dallas’s underserved communities, such as those taking aim at blight and crime, and seeking to support Dallas small businesses and local economies. Healthy corner stores offer more than just an answer to immediate food access crisis, for some of the most impoverished communities for Dallas, it creates the essential first step to an overall quality of life.

Here’s a little bit more about Keilah!

What did you study in College?

I completed my undergraduate degree in social work from the University of North Texas; and graduate degree in community organizing from the University of Connecticut, where I was a CEDAL Public Heath Scholar. I also completed a post graduate diploma in Oxford with a focus on social care law and the National Health System.

What inspired you to do a TEDx Talk?

I want to help people connect the dots between public health, justice, and community wellbeing.

This year’s theme is titled, “Work in Progress.” In what aspect in your life do you believe is always a “Work in Progress”?

My perspective is always a work in progress. Even with a keen understanding that life is full of change, I find myself emotionally resistant at times. So, I am constantly reminding myself to have a perspective shift that allows me to except that reality emotionally. It’s hard. We get comfortable, and as quickly as our next breath we forget.

Besides the topic of your talk, what other passions do you have?

I love to dance. I studied dance as a child and my passion for it never waned, though my studies did. It forces me to step out of my analytic tendencies and give the music the music control.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to be a part of a movement that bridges public health, community wellbeing, and justice in such a way that the health disparities decrease significantly and the community is to be praised for that accomplishment.

What is your hidden talent?

I’m a decent comedian. HAHA. I really enjoy making people laugh and pointing out those odd spaces in life that deserve a smile.

Come join us and watch Mary and all of our other outstanding speakers this Sunday, April 3rd for this year’s TEDxUTD Conference. Doors will open at 6:30 with the event beginning at 7 PM.

Tickets are limited so stop by our TEDxUTD Ticket Booth in the Student Union during lunch hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, or get your tickets online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tedxutd-2016-conference-tickets-23752533467

For further information about our biggest event of the year, visit our Facebook Event Page! And keep up with our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!

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