At the time this picture was taken I was the Evening Coordinator for Metropolitan Delta Adult Literacy Center, operated as a project of the Metropolitan Baptist Church on R Street, NW. The picture was at the National Convention for Literacy in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1990s and I know teach for CEET, Center for Empowerment and Employment Training, teaching Construction Math, Geometry, English, and now Social Studies. To me, literacy is the foundation for a democracy. Close to 50% of all Americans cannot read and write the language they speak (the city reports one-third or 30%.
Both numbers say that there is a serious problem with democracy in this country. It is well known that students who do well in school do well because of parents who understand and support education of our young people. It is also true that learning is a life-long process.
As a Delegate I will push for policies that would end this often hidden scourge on the society by increasing educational opportunities for both our children and their parents, which would address what I call an issue of national security – poverty. “Famous Amos”, standing with me in the photo, became a philanthropist making millions off of his cookies sold worldwide, and devoted much of his riches to literacy and education efforts. He was especially sensitive to the issue of literacy, having struggled with illiteracy personally in his early life as he was becoming a success, and he funded many efforts to support expansion of literacy programs, and he read regularly on public television programs emphasizing the importance of literacy with his own story. We shared both our passion for literacy and contact information after his keynote address.