I grew up watching Star Trek inspired by what Trek imagined the future could be.
Earth had done away with poverty, disease, war. Humanity, in cooperation with other alien civilizations, explored the Galaxy on ships like the USS Enterprise doing good where possible. Diplomatic missions, crisis relief, medical aid. Star Trek is a view of what humanity could be if we were brave and bold but also empathetic and kind – us at our best.
Lately our 21st century world has been…well…a hard place to be – harder for some than others. What if the Star Trek fandom could take some inspiration from that imagined future to make change in the present? This weekend is a chance to make it so with “TrekTalks” – a livestream telethon featuring an incredible lineup of Star Trek cast and crew to benefit the Hollywood Food Coalition starting tomorrow (January 15th) at 11:45am Pacific Time and running to 7:45pm PT
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TrekTalks is a collaborative fundraiser between the TrekGeeks Podcast and Roddenberry Podcast networks. The event will be streamed to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter where you can watch and comment live. The incredible guest list – a Trek fan dream – includes Jonathan Frakes, John de Lancie, Gates McFadden, Adam Nimoy, Michael and Denise Okuda, John Billingsley Jeri Ryan, and Robert Picardo to name a few. The event’s beneficiary, the Hollywood Food Coalition, was founded in 1987 with the “mission to serve a meal every night of the year, with absolutely no barriers to service” and has done so for 34 years. The organization serves over 60,000 meals to low-income and food-insecure people in Hollywood, CA each year.
The stream’s schedule features a wide variety of panels like talk with cast members of Deep Space Nine, Star Trek and the European Space Agency hosted by Star Trek science advisor Dr. Erin Macdonald, and a look at the new animated Star Trek series.
“I believe this is the kind of thing that Star Trek fandom is wired for. We’ve been told for decades that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” and there are many people we can really help by raising money for the Hollywood Food Coalition. They’re an incredible organization that can and should serve as an example for other cities around the world.”-William Smith, Co-Founder TrekGeeks, Producer TrekTalks
One of the panels will be moderated by yours truly! The panel is called “Trektivism” and will explore other real-life social change initiatives undertaken by several Star Trek cast/community members including Armin Shimerman (Quark DS9 ), Chase Masterson (Leeta DS9), John Bilinglsey (Phlox ENT), and Rod Roddenberry (The Roddenberry Foundation) whose efforts range from improving access to essential medicines, to an anti-bullying network, to climate change initiatives, to a new Trek-led campaign against pancreatic cancer. I will get to share some of the non-profit work I do supporting a vocational centre in Sierra Leone. As I won’t likely ever get to go to space, I’ve always thought of this work in Sierra Leone as my way of making our present more like the future as imagined in Star Trek.
So tune in tomorrow for a whole day of Trek and please consider making a donation to the Hollywood Food Coalition as well as check out the other initiatives by guests in the “Trektivism” panel. Full schedule of events can be found here:
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With the First Link (My Star Trek: TNG Podcast on the TrekGeeks Network!)