The challenge Detroit faces in respect to literacy should be news to no one. The awareness of this problem, however, has not yet reached a crescendo that compels concerted action across multiple fronts, and with the collaborative cooperation of the major spheres of societal influence and interest. The organizers of a new event centered on the issue of literacy aim to change that.
Presented by Beyond Basics, which provides targeted reading, writing, art and mentoring activities to students in participating Detroit schools; and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; the Literacy: We Are the Change Summit Conference will bring together under one roof leaders from the business, education, foundation, government, and non-profit communities. The goal is to discuss, devise, and enact strategies with the expressed purpose of eradicating illiteracy in the City of Detroit within 5 years.
The conference takes place Thursday, November 14, 2013, at The Wright Museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit. Following registration and networking from 8 until 9 am, attendees will hear from two plenary speakers: Martín Gómez, Vice Dean of University of Southern California (USC) Libraries and former head of the Los Angeles Public Library system, the largest public library system in the United States; and Carol Goss, President of The Skillman Foundation. Two roundtable discussions will follow. The first, on the facts of literacy, will include Jared David, Jared W. Finney High School; Lou Glazer, Michigan Future Inc.; Pam Good, Beyond Basics; Dr. Glenda Price, Detroit Public Schools Foundation; and Dr. Darryl Taylor, Cranbrook Schools Horizons-Upward Bound. The community outreach roundtable will involve Paula Brown, Reading Works; Ben Erulkar, Detroit Regional Chamber; Kirk Mayes, Brightmoor Alliance; and Michael Tenbusch, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Other panelists have been invited and will be added as they are confirmed. The event will conclude with a strolling lunch reception at 11:30 am in the museum’s rotunda.
About Beyond Basics
Beyond Basics is a child-centered, literacy nonprofit serving students in the lowest performing schools since 2002 by providing tutoring and supplemental programs – writing, art, mentoring, and partnerships – for students in grades Pre-K through 12. The work done by Beyond Basics staff and volunteers has been proven to help school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods change their destinies. Within six weeks, the Beyond Basics program typically has children reading at grade level or above. For more information please visit beyondbasics.org.
About The Wright Museum
Founded in 1965 and located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. For more information please visit TheWright.org.