Black History Month: Spotlighting Five African American Scholars, Practitioners, and Advocates

By: Altheria Caldera   |   February 25, 2024

Black History Month

The Reading League celebrates and acknowledges the many contributions that African Americans have made to our society. We hold a special appreciation for the educators whose profound impact transcends measure. In observance of Black History Month, we are spotlighting five African American scholars, practitioners, and advocates whose pioneering efforts strive to enhance literacy outcomes for all children, particularly those from racially and linguistically marginalized backgrounds.

Kymyona Burk

Dr. Kymyona Burk
Dr. Burk is a Senior Policy Fellow at ExcelinEd. In this role, she supports states pursuing a comprehensive approach to K-3 reading policy by assisting state leaders in building new or improving existing K-3 reading policies. Formerly, she served as the state literacy director at the Mississippi Department of Education, where she led the implementation of Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act.

Resha Conroy

Resha Conroy
Resha Conroy is the founder and Executive Director of the Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children, a non-profit organization working to eliminate the amplified inequities for Black children experiencing unaddressed dyslexia and related learning disabilities.

Zaretta Hammond

Zaretta Hammond
Zarretta Hammond describes herself as a teacher educator, literacy advocate, and believer in the Science of Learning. Her book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain, has become a go-to resource for knowledge about teaching culturally diverse children. We are honored to host her as the keynote speaker at our 8th Annual Conference in October 2024.

Nicole Patton Terry

Dr. Nicole Patton Terry
Dr. Patton Terry is the Olive & Manuel Bordas Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education and Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research. Her important article, “Delivering on the Promise of the Science of Reading for All Children” sheds light on ways to advance the science of reading to meet the needs of all children.

Julie Washington

Dr. Julie Washington
Dr. Julie Washington is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of California – Irvine (UCI). She is a Speech-Language Pathologist and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Dr. Washington directs the Language Variation and Academic Success Lab at UCI. In her co-authored article, “Teaching Reading to African American Children,” Dr. Washington offers impactful knowledge and insight to support reading instruction for African American children.

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