If I Had a Million Bucks...

Stephanie Hunt

If I had a million bucks, I'd give it ito Bill Stanfield at Metanoia. Hand it right over.  


Photo by Fia Forever Photography


In the spirit of the "Reinvent" theme at TEDxCharleston (an all-day immersion program happening today at PURE Theatre, designed to enrich the community via a stellar line-up of speakers and exchange of ideas), the Rev from North Chuck (via Princeton Theological Seminary) is reinventing the title "Reverend" with "revolutionary" in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood where he's lived and worked for the last 11 years. And he delivered a tight, funny, thoughtful, rousing, well-spun hellfire and brimstone talk In this morning's opening line-up of TEDxCharleston speakers.


Though he may have brought down the house with his presentation about re-envisioning community development in under-resourced neighborhoods, his work is all about bringing up households: through listening to the people who live in the community, and through investing in what's going right in these neighborhoods, rather than in what's going wrong. Stanfield has helped foster a major shift in mindset in one of North Charleston's most challenged neighborhoods by galvanizing resources and good intentions and redirecting these toward accentuating and investing in the postive assets, not the deficits. It's such a simple, profound a-ha moment—and only one of many that this morning's bounty of TEDx inspiration has harvested thus far.


We've heard from Eve Blossom, founder of Lulan Artisans and WE'VE, who learned that aligning her passions and talents with a gut-wrenching problem (human trafficking) led to her finding her sense of place in the world. The writer and former Olympic gymnast hopeful Teresa Bruce absolutely wowed the crowd with her very personal, elegantly crafted talk about quitting as the first step in reinvention. From a public speaking standpoint, Bruce gets my vote for a spot on the big TED stage. Winslow Hastie reinvented historic preservation from a blue-haired tweed endeavor to a hip aspect of urban planning...


The good stuff is ongoing. Off to the afternoon sessions. Stay tuned.