Annual college book program meets TED

 Saddleback College hosted its first One Book, One College event of the year at the Associated Student Government’s TED Talk Tuesday on Feb. 6 in the Student Services Center, Room 212.

April Cubbage leads faculty and students in discussion at the One Book, One College event at TED Talk Tuesday, Feb. 6. (Ashley Hern / Lariat)

April Cubbage leads faculty and students in discussion at the One Book, One College event at TED Talk Tuesday, Feb. 6. (Ashley Hern / Lariat)

The 2017 through 2018 committee chose Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s “Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League” as their spring 2018 selection.“Undocumented” follows Peralta’s biographical account of growing up as an undocumented and homeless immigrant child in New York City. Peralta establishes a personal connection with Jeff, a homeless shelter volunteer. Peralta explains in “Undocumented” how being homeless and undocumented contributed to his experience at Collegiate and Princeton University.


Saddleback sociology professor April Cubbage’s panel discussion included a presentation of statistics of homelessness in the United States, two TED Talk videos and a discussion of the connections between “Undocumented” and the TED Talks. The TED Talks presented were Martha Stone’s “You’re Homeless…Now What?” and Kristi Blakeway’s “Beyond HELLO: Changing the Perception of Homelessness.”

“The related issues that I want people to think about when watching the TED Talks is that poverty, addiction, abuse, mental illness and lack of resources are only some of the issues that coexist when we talk about the homeless population,” Cubbage said. “Just like in ‘Documented,’ they do not encompass every single person’s story.”

In her TED Talk, Martha Stone shared her experience as an executive director at a private homeless shelter, Cross Roads House, in New Hampshire. Stone presented stories of a talented chef, a family of five and a veteran that received help from Cross Roads House.


“The TED Talks were really insightful about homelessness,” said Emily Sim, a student majoring in English. “I was surprised when the statistics were shown because I was not aware that around 40 percent of homeless people are actually employed.”

Kristi Blakeway, a school principal in British Columbia, showed how her social project Beyond HELLO began and has helped more than 600 homeless people relocate their family or friends.


HELLO stands for “Helping Everyone Locate Loved Ones,” in order to help homeless individuals to develop personal connections and establish a sense of community.

“One Book, One College is also doing Book To Action, which adds an action that individuals could potentially do along with reading the book and engage with the community,” said Jane Horlings, a biology instructor at Saddleback and a member of the One Book, One College workgroup.

Book To Action is a California State Library program and community service project that collects children’s books. One Book, One College will be collecting books from three drop-off locations on campus at the library, Faculty Center for Student Success and the Administration and Governance Building. The books collected from Book To Action will be donated to the students at the Title 1 school Kinoshita Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano. The deadline for book donations is Feb. 23.

One Book, One College has planned eight future events for the duration of the semester which involve TED Talk Tuesdays, round table discussions, an author visit and Book To Action.