Foreword by Maria Murray, Ph.D., President and CEO of The Reading League
The Reading League’s mission is to advance the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-aligned reading instruction. This mission serves our goal of improving reading outcomes for ALL students. We have successfully built a league of advocates within the science of reading community. We serve as a knowledge broker: we facilitate collaborations and connect the findings from the science of reading to the practices of multiple stakeholders within the education, publishing, and policy communities.
The Reading League acknowledges consistent gaps in literacy outcomes for marginalized students, including students of color, students in poverty, English learners/emergent bilingual students, and students with disabilities. As a leader in the science of reading field, we know that literacy instruction grounded in the evidence base is necessary (but not sufficient) for closing those gaps. Effective evidence-aligned instruction is one necessary component to ensure that everyone has access to the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals of furthering their education or navigating a workforce, and ultimately be able to critically examine the society they build.
Our team has crafted a statement in order to publicly announce the role we seek to play within the reading community. The Reading League’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) statement reflects our team’s deeply held beliefs and values. These are our commitments to ourselves and our stakeholders. It focuses largely on equity and racism because communities of color have historically not been included in conversations related to the science of reading. Our statement expresses our commitment to listen, learn, and further where the science of reading, equity, and anti-racism synchronize to afford ALL children the right to read.
The Reading League’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Statement
The Reading League asserts that the science of reading, which is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically based research about reading, is foundational to achieving social justice. To change inequitable social structures, all humans must be empowered with literacy.
We recognize the widespread impact of institutional racism within education; literacy has been strategically withheld as a means of social control to silence and disempower marginalized populations. We strive to be inclusive and anti-racist in the work we do. Internally, we commit to recruiting and retaining a broadly diverse workforce because diverse perspectives are integral to our mission. We commit to learning from organizations and individuals who represent diverse communities, whose voices we seek to amplify, and whose messages will guide our work. Together, we endeavor to reduce the opportunity gap for those who are underserved so that ALL children are afforded the right to read.
As a leader in our field, The Reading League is committed to furthering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the science of reading movement because certain communities, particularly communities of color, have not yet seen themselves represented consistently and authentically. By calling ourselves a league, we assert that we are strengthened by the diversity of our perspectives, which will bolster our ability to advance our mission and realize our vision of literacy for all.