Carmen Jones, a winner from TEDxRVA Open Mic Night, is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, located in Richmond, Virginia. She is majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a minor is Business. She currently works in the Arts department as a VCU campus tour guide. Carmen plans to travel abroad this summer to Florence, Italy to study design, fabric making and merchandising. In her free time Carmen enjoys jogging, skateboarding and going to the beach. Carmen has future aspirations to work for an athletic company and design sneakers and uniforms. She hopes to one day get the opportunity to design the US Olympic uniforms... Read More t

Playwright, director, actor, poet, writer, scholar-activist, and teacher Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates engages the dramatic arts as a tool for social change. With a long history in film, television, and theater all around the United States, she currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and serves as Artistic Director for the Conciliation Project. In the latter position, she collaborates with organizations such as Housing Opportunities Made Equal and the Healing Place to create plays that actively engage the psychological barriers created by race, class, gender, and identity. One such play, uncle tom: de-constructed, was nominated by Amnesty International for a Humanitarian Award... Read More t

Daniel Goldschmidt has a passion for music. This Minneapolis, Minn., native studied the connection between music cognition and therapy at the University of Kansas, and then he moved to Richmond to work as a music therapist at Poplar Springs Hospital in Petersburg, where he works with works with military service men and women to help alleviate disorders such as PTSD and substance abuse. Daniel is also a composer for KC A Capella, a music teacher, a freelance pianist and owner of a piano repair service... Read More t