BU Social Science Students to Headline TedxBU 2024

TEDxBU unites speakers from the BU community and beyond to discuss ideas worth spreading. This event is one of 3,000 grassroots events happening throughout the world. This year’s theme, continuing from a partnership with the Howard Thurman Center, is Life is Alive. This year’s speakers include BU social science students Lily Belisle, Shaylon Walker, and Sydney Spottiswood. The event will take place on Saturday April 20 from 1 to 4 pm at the Howard Thurman Cente.r

Lily Belisle is a Boston University undergraduate in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She focuses on gender-based violence and criminal justice, currently conducting an Honors Thesis on the rhetoric in criminal rape trials. With previous roles at KRC Disability Law, the Women’s Bar Foundation, the Suffolk County DA’s Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit and London’s Support Through Court service, Lily envisions a career in public interest law. She has also worked as BU CISS Communications Manager since October 2021. She has been recognized with Dean’s List (2021-2023), AKD Honors Society, the Harold Case Scholarship and an Albert Morris grant. Co-founder of Armchair Journal, Lily actively contributes to academic discourse and has two papers to be published in 2024. Lily engages with local prison outreach and in 2023 took part in the Center on Forced Displacement’s inaugural Serbian Summer School, further underscoring her commitment to meaningful structural change. Lily will talk about her honors thesis research “There is No ‘Perfect Victim’.”
Sydney Spottiswood is a sophomore undergraduate student at Boston University majoring in International Relations with a minor in French Studies. On-campus, they are on the executive board of BU’s radio station and the Treasurer of SHADES, a student-run organization for queer students of color. They are also on their region’s hall council and have two part-time jobs. Off-campus, they like going to coffee shops, thrifting, and going to shows in the Boston music scene. After graduation, Sydney intends to continue their education in graduate school with a focus on conflict, foreign policy, and human rights.
Shaylon Walker is a senior, studying Religion and African-American studies at Boston University. Since coming to Boston, Shay has been involved in organizing and furthering efforts that promote sustainability. Shay advocates for the inclusion of Black communities in these efforts, recognizing that those with this identity are at a heightened risk of being negatively impacted by climate change despite minimal contributions. As a student, Shaylon works as a Resident Sustainability Leader and photographer for the Howard Thurman Center. Shay also works off-campus as the Community Engagement Manager for REFORM, a prison reform organization founded by Jay-Z and Meek Mill. In their free time, they serve as President of Swipes for Boston, an organization dedicated to the distribution of hand-packaged, donated meals to those facing food insecurity in the streets of Boston. Shay enjoys public speaking, taking walks, and educating others on the importance of being conscious about the state of our earth. Shaylon will discuss “Racism is Ruining Our Environment.”

Register HERE! (Reservations are going fast!)