The TED Talk Black Travel Deservers [PERSONAL STATEMENT]
Not everyone is born to be an activist.
However, I believe that if you are doing your life’s homework, there are causes that usher you into action. It isn’t forced, poked at, or prodded. It simply starts within, and reveals itself through life experience.
As multifaceted as humans are, many of us are aware of our ‘lane’. The diligent among us find it, answer the call, develop, and act—over and over again because it is in our bones.
I firmly believe that phase one of my life’s homework was creating NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, in 2011.
I sit here now—Nomadness six years old -- months after giving the TED Talk you will view at the end of this address, as a 33 year old, world traveled, college and life educated Black woman living in America. Living in an America, in 2017, under a Trump Presidency. Living in an America that in the last nine months has produced travel bans, a revolving White House complete with white supremacists, and Charlottesville. An America that in the last nine years has produced the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, the suicide of Kalief Broward, and many more.
But, I come from a people that have met the last nine months, nine years, and past generations before me with calls to action of their own. We are the Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter, Stop DAPL, Say Her Name, Oprah, Barack, Jessie Williams, Angela Rye, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, etc. We are all of these organizations, people, and so much more. We are here, we are relevant, and while in our respective ‘lanes’, we act.
I want to be very clear, to every reader and viewer of this TED Talk. Please understand that Black American history, is still American history. It is my history as much as it is yours. There is no diluting that fact. My action has been creating a worldwide community and movement that connects almost 20,000 travelers of color from across the globe.
It is relevant, and universal. Our culture and our stories have not only shaped the nation, but the world. If taken just for face value, nothing is more universal than the influence and experience of travel. Of its definitive nature, it’s omnipresent. It is our responsibility to stand up to people, ideologies, and institutions who deems us anything less than relevant and universal.
My hope is that this talk grows from the TED residency stage, to the biggest mainstages that the world has to offer, inspiring action among community. I wanted the prelude of this talk to be a personal statement because I wanted everyone watching to know the forces of nature that I took on stage with me on June 6th, to perform this talk. My hope is that I did the culture proud. Thanks for watching, and please share far and wide. We need as many eyes as possible on these words and our worldwide story.
Evita Turquoise Robinson
CEO, NOMADNESS Travel Tribe