“If not now, when?”: How a TEDx community supported a speaker’s family through the unthinkable

TED Blog

Laura-Rozo-at-TEDxUNC-quote“What makes you think that you have 80 or 90 years to live?”

Laura Rozo posed this serious and almost morbid question to the audience at TEDxUNC in February 2013. She walked onto the stage confidently and calmly, soaking in the applause as the final, surprise speaker of the day. She wore a red turtleneck with a patterned scarf, and her head was adorned with a new henna tattoo. In front of a silent crowd, she raised her arms in the air and breathed deeply to center herself. Then she began to tell her story — one so urgent and moving that the organizers of TEDxUNC made the last-minute decision to not just include her in the program, but to have her close it.

I should explain: Laura Rozo was my friend and classmate — a kind, energetic and passionate person. Whether organizing world dance showcases (salsa was her specialty)…

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