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San Juan mayor, Leon Ford, former WPXI anchor part of TEDxPittsburgh lineup

Aaron Aupperlee
| Monday, April 23, 2018, 1:24 p.m.
The audience at the 2015 TEDx Pittsburgh conference
The audience at the 2015 TEDx Pittsburgh conference

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former Pittsburgh television news anchor who was the victim of revenge porn and a black man who was shot and paralyzed by city police are among the speakers confirmed for TEDxPittsburgh in June.

Tickets for the speaker series went on sale last week.

TEDxPittsburgh is June 16 at the Byham Theater.

Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate. She spoke in Pittsburgh on April 4 during CMU's Energy Week.

Darieth Chisolm was co-anchor of WPXI's 11 p.m. news and a reporter for the station. She left in 2013. In 2017, an ex-boyfriend posted nude photos and videos of her on the internet after they broke up, prompting her to launch the 50 Shades of Silence campaign against revenge porn, cyber bullying, stalking, sexual harassment and extortion.

Leon Ford was shot by a Pittsburgh police officer in 2012 during a traffic stop. The bullet injured his spine, and he now uses a wheelchair. Ford has become an activist against police brutality and for civil rights . A jury cleared one officer and deadlocked on charges against a second in a civil rights lawsuit filed by Ford. He reached a $5.5 million settlement with the city.

TEDxPittsburgh is organized independently of the official TED Conference and TEDGlobal events. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and started as a four-day conference 25 years ago to bring together speakers with big, world-changing ideas. The official conferences have grown into events that draw world leaders, top scientists and CEOs and innovative thinkers. Each speaker gets 18 minutes.

TEDx conferences, including TEDxPittsburgh, are organized around the world to showcase local leaders and thinkers.

Other speakers scheduled for TEDxPittsburgh include Leadership Pittsburgh CEO Aradhna Oliphant, Ashley Priore, who founded The Queen's Gambit Chess Institute, and Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, a University of Pittsburgh professor and researcher who focuses on voice therapy.

Tickets are $35 for general admission and $60 for VIP .

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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