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#ILAchat: Learn How to Drive Change at ILA 2018

By Wesley Ford
 | Jul 10, 2018

ILAchat_DriveChange2_300Our theme for the International Literacy Association (ILA) 2018 Conference is Be a Changemaker. But what does that mean? How are educators changemakers? And how does a conference like ILA 2018 help educators learn how to drive change when they return to their schools and classrooms?

Those questions are the focus of our preconference #ILAchat, which will occur Thursday, July 12, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Rather than talk about conference tips (wear comfy shoes!) or discuss the new conference app (download it!), this preconference chat will touch on how to prepare yourself for the learning that is going on at the conference and what you hope to achieve during your time in Austin.

As is our tradition for the preconference #ILAchat, we will leave the last 15 minutes open for conference presenters who want to discuss their sessions and tackle any questions that attendees might have for them.

We’re excited to bring together three of our headlining changemakers to host this chat: Tim’m West, M. Colleen Cruz, and Matthew Kay, whose passion and dedication to their practice make them a perfect fit for our theme. Each embodies the spirit of being a changemaker and transforming the lives of others through literacy.

Where can you see them in action at ILA 2018?

West is one of our panelists for the highly anticipated Equity in Education Program panel: Literacy and Our LGBTQ Students: Starting and Sustaining Schoolwide Transformation. A native of Cincinnati and raised primarily in Arkansas, West is an educator, poet, youth advocate, and hip-hop artist who has, for decades, traveled the United States speaking about issues at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and social justice. A graduate of Duke University, The New School for Social Research, and Stanford University, he is author of several books and hip-hop projects. West has also appeared in multiple documentaries, among them Alex Hinton’s Pick Up the Mic, Byron Hurt’s Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, and Mario Van Peebles’s Bring Your ‘A’ Game. In October 2016, he was named 2015 LGBT History Month Icon. West currently leads Teach For America’s LGBTQ+ Community Initiative and serves on the board of Wordplay, an organization helping Cincinnati’s youth fulfill their potential through reading, writing, and storytelling.

Cruz is one of this year’s featured speakers, presenting two sessions at ILA 2018: Clever Writers Become Critical Readers and Reconsidering Reciprocity. Cruz is a fierce advocate for making rich literacy instruction accessible to every child. She was a Brooklyn public school teacher before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where she now serves as director of innovation. In addition to her latest book, Writers Read Better: Nonfiction, Cruz authored several professional development texts, including The Unstoppable Writing Teacher and Independent Writing, as well as the young adult novel, Border Crossing, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Finalist.

Kay, who was featured in the Literacy Today conference preview issue, is also an ILA 2018 featured speaker. You can catch him at either of his sessions, Boost Independence and Agency With Effective Teaching for Self-Monitoring or Not Light, But Fire. A proud product of Philadelphia’s public school system and a graduate of West Chester University and California University of Pennsylvania, Kay is a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy, where he teaches an innovative inquiry-driven, project-based curriculum.  He is also the founder and executive director of Philly Slam League, a nonprofit organization that shows young people the power of their voices through weekly spoken word competitions.

Join us Thursday, July 12, at 8:00 p.m. ET for our preconference chat, and then we’ll see you in Austin for ILA 2018!

ConferenceVeteranWesley Ford is a conference veteran and the resident ILA 2018 Conference app expert. He is presenting a demo of the app in Austin on Saturday, July 21, at 10:00 AM in ILA Central. Add it to your schedule as practice.

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