Get to know the accomplished individuals who will present at the TEDxGreenville conference on April 8th! In this series of blog posts, writer Jennifer Oladipo asks some compelling questions.
Megan Johnson directs Greenville’s Classical Conversations Challenge II program, a rich study of ideas that challenges teens to work hard, write well, and think deeply.
What was the last idea, big or small, that you thought was worth sharing?
I might say the implications behind the idea that we all are born with the capacity for same-sex attraction, a growing sentiment in the scientific community. How does this change the conversation, or cultural perceptions?
How does your work or art affect the way you see yourself?
My work challenges me to keep aiming for a deeper understanding of God, the world, and its people, and as I do so, I become increasingly aware of my capacity to grow and change in previously unimaginable ways — a truly freeing and empowering realization.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?
Ran Gavrieli at TEDxJaffa 2013. Gavrielli’s talk is his personal story regarding the role of pornography in his life. His honesty and passion about the topic are compelling and persuasive. I respect and admire his willingness to share his experience and the discoveries he made from it.
What makes you sensitive to the issues facing women globally?
My belief in the intrinsic value of all people. I don’t think any issue facing women exists in a vacuum. Males and females exist as a single species codependent upon each other for survival, so if women are being oppressed, abused, or de-valued, my opinion is that there is an equally broken depravity existing in males who interact with that oppression.
For instance, if a loss of identity and demasculinization of males leads to fear and self-loathing, driving them to isolate themselves to a world of video games, and/or falsely manipulate a feeling of power and control through sexist and abusive pornography and sex-trafficking, isn’t that a serious problem for both men and women? No gender related destruction in a society will ever be improved by addressing only one side of it.
Where do you find inspiration?
My faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and His redeeming love for all mankind, my husband, my children, my parents, my family, my community, and my neighbors.
What is the next frontier for the human race?
Respecting the life of the person, universally with love and kindness. If the people of modern culture could come to a place where they respect the holistic person as a full and inseparable integration of the mind, body, and spirit, with equal and intrinsic value, it would radically alter our attitudes about sexuality, attractiveness, love, education, poverty, materialism, gender, and healthcare. One would not be able to look at a body without recognizing it as an equally valuable person with a mind and spirit, or tend to the spirit without caring for the body, or judge the behavior without fully seeking to understand the mind and spirit behind it. We would put aside our arrogance, judgment, and condescension, and see ourselves in the faces of every other person, since we are all created in the same image, reflecting a beautiful kaleidoscope of characteristics that all reflect the Creator. Wouldn’t we have to treat them with grace, generosity, and kindness — in a word, love, which is actually embodied by sacrifice for another?
For more information about Kaleidoscope speakers and performers, visit our 2016 presenter page, where extended bios are available. The April 8th event at the Kroc Center in Greenville, SC, is sold out, but if you were unable to purchase tickets, watch our Facebook page for details about the free live feed.
Stay informed about all things TEDxGreenville:
- Join our email list.
- Like our Facebook page.
- Watch our Eventbrite account.
- Check tedxgreenville.com frequently.