TUFFTalks is UAB’s very own rendition of TEDTalk. TEDTalk aims to broadcast and bring attention to “ideas worth spreading.” Playing into that concept, TUFFTalks is an event that allows speakers at NC State, whether students, faculty, or staff, to exchange ideas, through the lens of a particular theme, to the larger Wolfpack community.

2022: TuffTalks: The Story of Music 

explored the ways in which music is multi-dimensional. It isn’t something we casually listen to on the way to class or work. It can be, but it’s also so much more than that! We examined music as a storyteller: a way of expression, a language in and of itself with layered components. We listened to the ways music has changed people’s lives, challenged society, and shaped decades.

Keynote Speaker: Victor Solomon

A top finalist on Season 20 of The Voice who plans on pursuing a career in music and later on, creating his own label.

2021: TuffTalks: The POWER of PASSION

highlighted different passions by exploring multiple topics through many different perspectives. This was an opportunity for speakers to use their voice and share stories and experiences that were unique to them, that showcase their passion(s), and how they have impacted their life and shaped their journey.

Keynote Speaker: Bree Newsome

A Community Organizer and Activist who worked towards and achieved the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina State House.

Bree Newsome Promo Graphic for TuffTalks 2021

2020: “What is the Norm?

 was meant to challenge societal norms by exploring diverse perspectives through the minority eye. We wanted this to be an opportunity for speakers to use their voice & personal experiences to open up our campus & community to new ideas. We sought speakers who were boundary-breaking, introducing these topics to make our audience question what and why society deems as “typical” or “normal”. The goal of TUFFTalks 2020 is to give members of the Wolfpack a platform to share how they have and continue to break the norm.

Keynote Speaker: Mike Africa Jr.

“After being secretly born in a cell after his parents were each sentenced to 100 years as political prisoners, Mike Africa Jr. turned his story into inspiration as a hip hop artist, writer, speaker, and member of The MOVE Organization. Living through abuse and police bombings, he worked to see his parents released and reunited, continuing his legacy in the black power movement.”

2019: In Search of Self

was meant to shine a light on the importance of embarking on the journey of self-exploration in order to find one’s true self. This event was an awesome opportunity for students and faculty to share their stories and experiences.There were unique giveaways, engaging student speakers, a guest keynote, and food with refreshments afterward at the reception.

Keynote Speaker: Ash Beckham

Ash is a well-known speaker from the LGBTQ+ community who is recognized for some of her viral TED Talks like “Coming Out of Your Closet” and “Owning Your Duality”.

For more information about Ash and her speaking career, follow this link to her website: http://ashbeckham.com/