Derrick McDowell youngstown flea

What’s Next for Derrick McDowell? TEDxYoungstown!

Derrick McDowell has many titles: founder of the Youngstown Flea, community engagement and inclusion coordinator for the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, assistant director of the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, Thought Leader and general lover of Youngstown.

And on Sept. 7 he’ll be taking on another role as he steps onto the Red Dot on the TEDxYoungstown stage. McDowell loves the TEDx platform, he says, because it gives Youngstown “the opportunity to make sure people know that we have ideas worth sharing,” he says.

“As I expect people or want people to lean into what I’m doing, I’m leaning into this process and giving myself over to it to do the best job I can do,” McDowell says.

In his talk, McDowell will address the work that he does in the city, and why he does it, he says. Hear McDowell’s backstory and what drives him at TEDxYoungstown, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at

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