Whistleblower Summit for Civil & Human Rights

TEDx Wilmington

 

My Walk with TED by Michael McCray, Esq., CPA (inactive)

I am grateful and excited by the opportunity to give a TED Talk and participant in this vibrant community.  My name is Michael McCray and I am a whistleblower and public interest advocate. I was first introduced to the TED concept two years ago when one of the awardees at an annual conference I host suggested that I should consider doing a TED Talk about whistleblowers. My response was simply “who is TED and what do we have to talk about?” And that moment started me on my journey to TED.

First I had to do a little research and figure out just what TED was all about… “Technology, Entertainment and Design” and more importantly to recognize that it is a global movement centered on “ideas worth sharing” as an organizing concept. The conference that I organize in Washington, DC is called the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights, and it is the largest and most prestigious whistleblower conference on Capitol Hill.

The person who suggested that  I should do a TED Talk was Sharyl Attkisson. She is a very courageous investigative reporter / journalist whom we decided to honor with our prestigious Pillar Award for Human Rights. Sharyl was so impressed by the work that we were doing with Whistleblowers and Journalists that she felt like TED would be a wonderful platform to tell the world about our advocacy.

The more I learned about TED, the more that I believed Sharyl’s assessment was correct—I should do a TED Talk! But how do you begin?  The following year passed and I had not made any significant progress towards this goal. I was giving a short presentation about my whistleblower journey at a conference in Pennsylvania last fall. There were a total of about 45 to 50 people who made short presentations at this event. After which, I was approached and would I be interested in participating in a TED Talk? My immediate answer was an emphatic—heck YES.

As we talked about the opportunity for me to do my TEDx Talk, I described the Whistleblower Summit for Civil & Human rights and describe all of the wonderful and courageous whistleblowers and advocates that I have meet over the years. So I proposed the following, the Whistleblower Summit would assist TEDx Willmingotn with speakers and sponsors for a  historic TEDx Salon on Whistleblowers and The First Amendment to be held on July 30, 2016—National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.

When I first started thinking about giving a TED Talk I wide eyed and felt like gee how am I going to fill up 18 minuets? But after I started working on my initial draft, compiled stories and made my outlines—now I fell like man, how am I going to fit all of this in 18 minutes. But I guess that is a good problem to have… So far preparing for TED has been an awesome experience, I’m reading books and articles and learning a new skill called “Presentation Literacy.”

It also feels good to work with TEDx Willimington and put on an entire salon with my whistleblower friends and advocates—they are my tribe, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to share our hopes and dreams with the world.

 

Schedule of Events

 

 

Saturday July 30, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:00—12:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

TEDx Salon: Whistleblowers and the First Amendment

 

The Historic Wilmington Public Library

10 E. 10th Street

Wilmington, DE 19801

 

In honor and support of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, the Whistleblower Summit and TEDx Wilmington will co-host a TEDx Salon on Whistleblowers and the First Amendment and the Historic Wilmington Public Library.

 

Morning Session

Stephen Kohn—TEDx TALK TITLE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WHISTLEBLOWERS OF 1777

Stephen Kohn is a founding director of the National Whistleblower Center and a partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP. He has been a trailblazer in establishing protections for whistleblowers since 1984. He won the first major Swiss bank whistleblower case, where his client’s disclosures resulted in $13 billion collected in fines and penalties, forcing thousands of Americans to close their illegal Swiss bank accounts. Ultimately, his client obtained the largest monetary reward ever paid by the government to an individual whistleblower ($104 million dollars).

 

Marcel Reid—TEDx TALK TITLE: WHISTLEBLOWING: AN EXTENSON OF HOPE.

Marcel Reid is a whistleblower liaison for the Pacifica Foundation, former DC ACORN chair, and National Board Member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Marcel Reid is a member of the ACORN 8 and the co-organizer of the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights.

 

Tom Devine—TEDx TALK TITLE: WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION AND THE TRUTH: YOU CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER

Tom Devine is co-founder and legal director of the Government Accountability Project. Since 1979, Tom has assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making real differences on behalf of the public. In 2015 he won the first U.S. Supreme Court test of the Whistleblower Protection Act.

 

Arthuretta Martin—TEDx TALK TITLE: BLOWING THE WHISTLE WHILE BLACK: DISCRIMINATION'S IMPACT ON BLACK LIVES, BLACK HEALTH AND BLACK WEALTH

Arthuretta Martin is a professional storyteller who shares the power of story with audiences of all ages. Her engaging style and depth of knowledge on matters affecting the Black African diaspora enthralls her audiences, leaving them wanting more.

1:00—2:00

 

Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

2:00—3:30

The Historic Wilmington Public Library

10 E. 10th Street

Wilmington, DE 19801

 

 

Afternoon  Session

Ken Williams—TEDx TALK TITLE: BEYOND FERGUSON: HOW A FORMER HOMICIDE DETECTIVE’S WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT COULD REFORM POLICE IN AMERICA

Ken Williams is a former Boston-area homicide detective and expert witness consultant in wrongful death cases. Mr. Williams is retained by civil rights attorneys to evaluate and render unbiased opinions in of cer-involved shootings and other deaths.

 

Anna Myers—TEDx TALK TITLE: RECLAIMING THE PUBLIC INTEREST: WHISTLEBLOWING IN THE INFORMATION AGE

Anna Myers is Executive Director/CEO of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) in Washington DC. GAP is the leading legal organization in the US defending whistleblowers since 1977, protecting free speech in the workplace and promoting whistleblowing for the common good.

 

Louis Clark—TEDx TALK TITLE: THE POWER OF INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE: STRATEGICALLY MULTIPLIED

Louis Clark serves as both president and corporate and financial accountability director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP). Louis assumed the directorship of GAP in 1978, having first served as legal counsel for the organization.

 

Michael McCray—TEDx TALK TITLE: WE THE PEOPLE—CITIZENS INVOLVEMENT IS NEEDED TO FIX OUR BROKEN JUSTICE SYSTEM

Michael McCray blew the whistle on $40 Million worth of waste fraud and abuse at the USDA and became a nationally recognized whistleblower and public interest advocate. Michael McCray was a National Board Delegate for Georgia ACORN, and member of the ACORN 8. Michael co-founded the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) and is the General Counsel for Federally Employed Women Legal Education Fund. Michael McCray also hosts the Whistleblower Summit for Civil & Human Rights.