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Counting Her In 

TEDxBend Women offers a forum to tackle issues facing Oregon women

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According to a recent report from the Women's Foundation of Oregon, an estimated one million Oregon women and girls have experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence. Meanwhile, working Oregonian women earn between 53 and 83 cents for every dollar men in Oregon earn, making for one of the largest wealth gaps in the nation. On Oct. 29, the sold-out TEDxBendWomen event aims to address those issues and work on solutions.

Now in its second official year, TEDxBendWomen is following a different format from the typical cadre of speakers and performers. Instead, the event will be more interactive, with a panel discussion, small and large group dialogues, and live streaming of a portion of the main TEDWomen event. Panelists will include Luanne Abrams, manager of FoundersPad; Emily Evans, director of the Women's Foundation of Oregon; and Kim Paxton-Hagner, regional leader of CTZNWELL.

Moe Carrick, lead organizer for TEDxBendWomen and TEDxBend, says the shift came after she and co-chair Carrie McPherson Douglass attended a TEDWomen event where they met organizers from around the nation. From that they realized changing to a dialogue-focused format was the right fit. "TED is predicated on the concept of ideas worth spreading," Carrick says. "The TEDx community is passionate about ideas worth sharing through the oration platform and helping people have...conversations that enable them to take action on those ideas."

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Both the live-streamed speakers and the findings from the Count Her In report—the report released by the Women's Foundation of Oregon—will be used to spark the panel discussion as well as group discussions. According to Carrick, topics will include violence against women, systemic racism, caregiving costs, barriers to reproductive health, the increasing wage and wealth gap, economic fragility, mental health and the glass ceiling. Carrick says, "According to the report, only one of Oregon's 39 publicly traded companies is led by a woman CEO...so there's a lot to discuss."

Along with the live streaming and group discussions, guests will enjoy an opening song circle led by Shireen Amini and poetry by Krayna Castelbaum. There will also be a visual recorder on site. Carrick says, "(The recorder) will be capturing the music of the day, and the rhythms and the themes of the day in a big visual image that we will be able to digitize and send out to the attendees."

Organizers are also looking for more women to speak at the upcoming TEDxBend and future TEDxBendWomen events. Applications for speakers and performers for TEDxBend 2017 are being accepted through November.

"I'm 54 and I've lived in Bend for 26 years. I'm really activated and very excited about the way we as women are finding our voice," says Carrick. "We are in a resurgence of connection and I think it's important that we continue that in Oregon through events like TEDxBendWomen...that not only bring women together, but bring them into their own voice so that they can partner with their allies...to lift us all up."

TEDxBendWomen

Oct 29, 9am–2pm

COCC Redmond Technology Education Center

SE Airport Way, Redmond

tedxbend.com/women

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