Images of farmworkers

We regretfully announce that TEDxFruitvale will not be happening this year on December 7.

Our application to renew the license was denied by TEDx. The reason given was that TEDx conferences are not supposed to focus on a single topic, even a broad one such as labor, only a general theme, such as “innovation.” We did attempt to argue that diverse perspectives on labor were very much in the vein of TED’s “ideas worth spreading,” but we have reached an impasse with our renewal license.

The organizers are considering what we might do instead to further the goals we had for TEDxFruitvale, which were to discuss the complicated origins of how U.S. farmworkers came to be treated so unfairly, and to learn about ways people are working to fight this injustice. We are reluctant to put on a “regular” conference, as we found the TEDx guidelines and structure — restrictive as they might have seemed at first — to ultimately have been positive ones. We are considering perhaps a series of panel discussions and/or a virtual, multimedia-based gathering of some kind online.

We do feel that something magical happened last year through bringing all of the wonderful people together who attended and spoke last year together physically at one table, and we are committed to doing so again in some form.

If you have ideas for how we might achieve this, or would like to be part of our informal advisory board, please email We will be shutting down the TEDxFruitvale website by mid-November, as another TEDx group may claim that name.

Recordings of the 2011 talks have been posted on YouTube — see the Webcast page for links.

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