‘It’s a humbling experience’: Amarillo community activist gives Ted Talk

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:10 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - An Amarillo community activists’ message about speaking up will soon be heard by others around the world.

Melodie Graves is an Amarillo native and is known by many in the area for her public speaking and community work.

Now, Graves is using her personal experience along with events witnessed over the past few years to inspire change in all ages.

Earlier this month Graves spoke at Texas State University for a Ted Talk.

“It’s a humbling experience to know that people listen to me and want me to talk more about what I’m passionate about,” said Graves.

The theme of the Ted Talk was ‘Amplify’.

Graves talked about having a voice for the voiceless. Something that became even more important to her after witnessing the killing of George Floyd.

“At any point, it was him in that moment, but it could easily be somebody I love. Or it could be me, it could be my child. So, that became my mission. When I saw something, I had to say something,” said Graves.

Now her mission is to reach all ages.

“It doesn’t matter how young you are. You say something. If you see something that doesn’t look right to you, then you say something about it because you are worthy of demanding the change you want to be a part of,” said Graves.

Although this Ted Talk is her first, she and others in the community don’t believe it will be her last.

“You’re going to be hearing about Miss Melodie Graves for years. She for me, she could do whatever she wanted to. Miss Melodie has a way of turning a phrase and internalizing stuff that it makes you want to get up and go,” said David McCoy Lovejoy, friend of Graves.

Until then, Graves plans to keep making an impact in the Amarillo community and building her legacy.

“People always talk about when you’re born and when you die, and that dash is what means something. That’s what I want. I want my dash to mean something. I want it to change people’s lives. When I’m gone, I want them to say, what would Melodie tell me to do? Or Melodie felt for this, so we’re going to take advantage of that,” said Graves.

Graves says the Ted Talk will air on the Ted Talk website in about two months.

She hopes more speaking engagements will come from this experience.

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