Edward Humes
Edward Humes

What do you get when you put a Pulitzer-prize winning author, a polar explorer and social activists into one room? Holy Innocents’ speaker series, “Small Stories, Big Ideas.”

Coming together Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Atlanta History Center, the speakers include Pulitzer winner Edward Humes, author of “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash,” who leads the evening.

“I would have had no idea that one of the country’s biggest exports is garbage,” said Heidi Domescik, chair of Holy Innocents’ fine arts department, and an organizer of the event. “You will be exposed and fascinated by areas you never would have sought out on your own,” she promised those planning to attend the event.

Now in its third year, the series is open to the public for the first time. Organizers have moved the event to the Atlanta History Center to make more room for guests.

Other speakers include Ann Daniels, the first woman to reach both the North and South Poles as part of all-female teams; Ben Foss, who wrote “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan” and invented the Intel Reader; Alex West, a 2002 Holy Innocents’ graduate who co-founded the Atlanta-based nonprofit WonderRoot, which brings together artists to inspire change; and Bailey Lyles, a 2014 graduate of the school who has started a dance and yoga rehab center for victims of sex-trafficking.

Domescik said the series is inspired by the TED Talks, a series of programs that started in 1984, presented by a nonprofit group that says it is devoted to spreading ideas.

“We wanted to take that ambitious project into our own community and highlight speakers not only from outside, but also from our own school.”

The event also features audio clips from an oral history project that features students’ conversations with notables such as former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, and Bret Witter, who co-wrote “The Monuments Men.”

Domescik said the variety of speakers will provide just enough insight to whet attendees’ appetites for more knowledge on each subject. “You will be exposed to ideas you were never aware of, and then can dive into them on your own.”

The event starts at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, which cost $25, visit www.hispeakerseries.org.

Ann Daniels
Ann Daniels