The Year of X: TEDxUCDavis Defines the Year


TEDxUCDavis will be holding its second annual event, “The Year of X”, on January 17, 2015 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. The event will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall, located at 415 Second Street in downtown Davis. The Salon will be entirely student-run by the TEDxUCDavis team, under the instruction of Co-Curators, Chris Myers and David Smotherman.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Here at UC Davis, TEDxUCDavis is a student-run organization that seeks to build a community of inspired and engaged people with open minds. We feel TED opens our understanding of the world by changing the lens through which we see it, fostering a spirit of intellectual curiosity that drives learning and innovation and which we are excited and passionate about spreading at the UC Davis campus.

The event will focus on the theme “The Year of X” and will aim to explore moments of love, defeat, power, and change that define the “x” in relation to the past or upcoming years.  Attendees will be encouraged to share ideas about what they think will define “X”. The event will feature four speakers that will share stories throughout their year of X.

Bill Habicht is a Pastor and Community Engagement Specialist at the Davis Community Church. He has helped to form the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter and the Youth Leadership Institute and is a part of multiple projects in the Davis area aiming to promote youth leadership, economic development, and more.

Maria Contreras Tebbutthas has recently been named Citizen of the Year by the Sacramento Area Council. She is the founder of the grassroots Woodland Bike Campaign and started this project to boost active, bike transportation in the city.

Phil America is a California-raised artist and writer. Through his profession, Phil has been able to work and live in various parts of the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is the co-founder of YOU Generation, which helps strengthen communities and empower individuals.

Kang Pha is a Hmong, Social Worker, and a licensed Zumba instructor. Pha enjoys travelling and exercising. Her help her sort out ideas, emotions, and help her plan for the road ahead.

In addition to these speakers, there will be two performance artists. As seating is limited for this event, it is recommended that tickets be purchased ahead of time on the TEDxUCDavis website, The cost of a general admission ticket is $15. UC Davis student tickets are $10 (must show student ID at the door).

Speaker Information

Maria Contreras Tebbutt

Maria Contreras Tebbutt

Maria Contreras Tebbutt is a community educator, and bike activist. After retiring at the age of 46, she used her entrepreneurial skills in the non-profit sector to create the Bike Campaign, a self-sustaining, volunteer-run organization whose #1 goal is to increase bike ridership. She considers Davis her hometown and enjoys seeing someone she knows everywhere she goes while exploring Yolo County. She has a passion for the simple life and enjoys meeting people from different countries, baking, reading and Tai Chi.

Phil America

Phil America

California-raised artist and writer, Phil has lived throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Africa and concentrates the human relationship with class, gender and race. In his work he uses various medias of art to better understand and connect to his subjects. He helps organize DEAR Burma, a school for refugees, and is working with all 28 museums in Sacramento to tie them together through art. He spoke at numerous universities and events in California and is working with World Vision, ILO, United Nations ESCAP and other organizations to create a project to educate people on the issues migrants face in Thailand. He is Co-founder of YOU Generation, helping to strengthen communities and empower individuals. Phil has written for books and magazines internationally and is working on his 3rd publication.

Kang Pha

Kang Pha

Three words sum up my life as Kang Pha.  I am Hmong, a Social Worker, and a Licensed Zumba Instructor.  Well, what is more to me?

I feel a sense of adventure and travel.  Now, some people would say skydiving would be the last thing they would do.  For me, I figure jumping out of a plane had both the sense of adventure and travel combined.  I free fall for about a minute across the clear blue skies.  I could see the perfectly squared farm land and the snaking of the rivers swirling along the ground.  To the east, I could see the majestic spikes of Sierra Nevada’s and to the west, the rolling scenes of the Diablo Range.

Of course, I also take part in the grounded hobbies such as hiking.  Hiking the beautiful Monterey Peninsula has been a passion of mine for years.  I would hike to the top of Heavenly Gate and see the Monterey Cypress stretching to touch the ocean skyline is breathtaking in every sense.  Thinking about these travels, I close my eyes and feel the cool sea breeze kiss my rosy cheeks.

Then again, travel and adventure happens at home for me as well.  Running.  Running helps me remember that each step is a step forward.  Running the Sacramento sidewalks, Discovery Park, the Folsom Trails, the YMCA treadmill, and even my garage treadmill has been venturous.  Running helps me sort out ideas, emotions, and helps me plan for the road ahead.

Writing this summary opens up the idea, there’s more to me than 3 words.  Let’s explore what else there is to me.  I’m excited, this should be fun.

Bill Habicht

Bill Habicht

Bill Habicht is a “common good” and social media conspirator.  He has been serving as a Pastor at Davis Community Church since 2005.  He received his M.S.W. from Virginia Commonwealth University and M.Div from Union Theological Seminary.  Bill has extensive experience working with oppressed and marginalized groups, and has worked for the New Orleans Police Department, Virginia Supportive Housing, Statford House (HIV+ living facility) and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.  He also lived in a halfway house for former criminal offenders as an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee.  After graduating from UT, Bill spent the next year living overseas in a subsistence farming village in Ghana, West Africa.

Since arriving at Davis Community Church, he has helped to form the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter and the Youth Leadership Institute.  In his free time, Bill works on projects that serve the community at-large, such as the monthly innovation networking event JumpStart Davis and a future coworking space in the downtown.

Bill is married to his beautiful wife, Amy, and has two children, Asher and Amelie.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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