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January 08, 2013

Speaker Announcement: Juvie Hall & Cynthia Lopez, Filmmakers on a Roll
Category: 2013 Event, News, Speaker Announcements


Talk about velocity! Within two hours of meeting, the dynamic duo of Juvie Hall (aka Diana Fedoroff) and Cynthia Lopez decided to embark upon an ambitious adventure inspired by Juvie’s experience playing roller derby for the Rose City Rollers: to travel the globe documenting the mysteriously transformative power of the fastest growing sport in the world.

Juvie began dreaming up the Flat Track Around the World project after reading a quote from Howard Thurman, which she paraphrases like this: “Don’t do what the world needs; find out what makes you come alive and then go do that thing, because ultimately what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Recognizing the huge impact roller derby had on her own life trajectory—propelling her from an unfulfilling corporate career into a more creative and flexible life—Juvie became curious about whether women in other cultures and contexts were having the same kind of life-changing experience playing roller derby. Though unsure of how she would undertake such a gigantic mission, she felt drawn to unlocking the source of roller derby’s transformational magic and making it accessible to women everywhere.

Cynthia Lopez

Cynthia Lopez

Meanwhile, Cynthia had been struggling to stay true to her dream of making meaningful films on her own terms. Although she had been successfully running her production company, Golden Moon Media, for several years while doing a bit of ethnographic research on the side, she wasn’t feeling entirely fulfilled. In an astounding leap of faith, just a few short weeks before meeting Juvie, Cynthia abruptly cleared her schedule of all work. She had no idea what would come next, but settled into trusting that she could sustain herself on baby carrots, rice, and beans, and recognize the right thing when it came along. And come along it did… albeit 15 minutes late and with a smelly skate bag over one shoulder.

When Juvie and Cynthia met, they found a kindred spirit in each other. Cynthia was inspired by Juvie’s gigantic dream and her mission to unlock the source of derby’s transformative powers for all women. Juvie was inspired by Cynthia’s drive and willingness to plunge into the unknown. With a simple, trusting “Yes, we can do this,” a creative partnership was born that has empowered both of them. Trusting in the support of the growing global derby community, Juvie and Cynthia have found the courage to step off the beaten path, try something new and crazy, and follow what makes them come alive: exploring and sharing the mystery and love of this unconventional sport.

Juvie Hall

Juvie Hall in the lead. Photo Credit: Steven L. Price

This dynamic duo are embarking on a multi-country global adventure to understand what drives the phenomenal worldwide growth of roller derby and the seemingly magical ability of the sport to help women transform their lives. Beyond simply documenting the concept of women’s empowerment, it is their mission to understand roller derby players, their cultures and environments, and to ask the women whose power, strength and courage are on display: why are you here? How are your lives, communities and worlds impacted by this? Where are you going? And how can this growing population of newly enlivened women unleash our collective potential to change the world?

TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood) is delighted Juvie Hall and Cynthia Lopez will join the roster of speakers for the March 23rd event. Join us at the event to see this power-duo speak about their upcoming Flat Track Around the World project, and, we suspect, you may just be inspired to go and find what makes you come alive.