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#ILAchat: Harnessing the Power of Literacy for Social Change

Clare Maloney
 | Jun 06, 2017

June 8 ILA ChatWe’re nearly halfway through 2017, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned so far in this politically and socially tumultuous year, it’s that we have the power to create change—and that change starts with discussion. Educators are prominent leaders of these discussions, explaining history and current events to students and helping them to find their voice. This week’s #ILAchat will explore how educators can approach this task as well as introduce a new event that will take place at this year’s ILA 2017 Conference in Orlando, FL.

Inspired by an impromptu discussion that occurred at last year’s conference, this year ILA will host a Current Events Panel entitled Disrupting a Destructive Cycle: How Literacy Drives Social Change. Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will moderate this provocative conversation that will raise questions about complex social issues. How do we begin to address the underlying anxiety and implicit bias that make these conversations necessary? What role can literacy play in creating more positive social outcomes? event will be emceed by Cornelius Minor, who facilitated an on-the-fly discussion at last year’s conference that raised awareness about the need for more discussions like these.

Our next #ILAchat on June 8, at 8:00 p.m. ET, is the perfect place to start the conversation. Follow @ILAToday to join José Vilson (@TheJLV) and Michael Hernandez (@cinehead) to discuss how to address social change and justice through literacy.

José Vilson is a middle school math teacher in New York, NY. He graduated with a MA in computer science from Syracuse University and an MA in mathematics education from the City College of New York. He is the founder of EduColor, a coalition of teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens dedicated to the uplift of people of color in education. He has served as a board member on the Board of Directors for the Center for Teaching Quality and is also a committed writer, activist, web designer, and father.

Michael Hernandez is an author, speaker, and cinematic arts and broadcast journalism teacher. He has an MFA in film production from Loyola Marymount University. He has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator, a PBS Innovator, a Google For Education Certified Innovator, and JEA National Broadcast Adviser of the Year. His passion for digital storytelling continues to be fueled by the authentic projects his students create, which have a real impact on their community.

Join us on Thursday, June 8, at 8:00 p.m. ET as we continue this invaluable conversation and prepare for the panel at the ILA 2017 conference in Orlando.

Clare Maloney is a former intern at the International Literacy Association. She is currently seeking a BA in English from the University of Delaware.
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