December 2022 Newsletter

December 2022

President’s Message

Dear LRA Family and Friends,

The chill in the air of Phoenix and mostly sunny days during the 72nd Annual Meeting was invigorating as we connected with long-time friends and forged new friendships and professional relationships with some of the over 900 individuals in attendance. The sheer joy and enthusiasm of being engaged in thoughtful reflection and knowledge sharing in-person with others to explore the theme “Crossing boundaries and Borders in Pursuit of Equity, Solidarity, and social Justice” generated multiple ideas for charting our future course as a community of scholars dedicated “to promoting research that enriches the knowledge, understanding, and development of lifespan literacies in a multicultural and multilingual world.” I am sincerely appreciative of the support of all who participated in a multiplicity of ways in supporting the annual meeting, especially the many researchers and plenary speakers who shared their rigorous research and though-provoking scholarship with us. Included among them were David Yaden, Arlette Willis, Guadalupe Valdés, Bryan Brayboy, Catherine Compton-Lilly, Allison Skerret, Mary McVee, and Marcus Croom. Additional recognition and appreciation must be extended to the members of the special panel convened to accommodate an unavoidable change in the conference program. The panel moderated by Vice President Alfred Tatum provided a needed opportunity to build upon the conference theme and coalesce around the need to “Reimagining LRA in the Spirit of a Transcendent Literacy Approach”, a concept introduced in Arlette Willis’ Oscar Causey Address. Special thanks to Rachel Salas and James Hoffman who were instrumental in organizing the panel, and to Patriann Smith, Marcus Croom, Michiko Hikida, Matthew Deroo, Josh Coleman, Emily Machado, Chad Waldron, Rahat Zaidi, and Arlette Willis who shared their insights and ideas about moving us forward as an organization. I am sincerely appreciative of all who participated in a multiplicity of ways in creating this year’s annual conference. I also want to acknowledge those of you who were unable to attend but who support the work of LRA through your membership, committee involvement, and scholarly work. If you have not yet done so, I ask conference attendee to complete the 2022 Annual Conference survey by December 31, 2022. The survey can be found here.

The coming year offers some exciting plans for extending the conference theme and continuing to address the mission of LRA. These plans include:

  • A presentation by Angela Valenzuela who was eagerly looking forward to delivering her keynote address at the conference, but illness prevented her from doing so. Details about the rescheduled presentation will be shared via multiple eblasts and posted on the LRA website.
  • Blogs featuring content by the 2022 Integrative Research Review Panel and other conference speakers and attendees.

Like Past-President David Yaden, I believe that we must continue to seek opportunities to participate in structured and sustained dialogue with multiple audiences to inform them through research and other scholarly work about the restrictive practices and policies that impact literacy development. This is a challenge that we are capable of and must continue to meet. The recently announced More than a Conference Initiative is intended to extend the work of standing committees, ICGs, study groups, and award committees. The funding is to be used to implement innovative ways to strengthen relationships, create a culture of intellectual engagement, develop a supportive community that extends beyond the LRA conference, and increase LRA’s visibility and digital footprint. Additional options include collaborations with the National Academy of Education in implementation of their Civic Reasoning and Discourse Initiative and with other professional organizations that are striving to cross the boundaries and borders that negatively impact literacy research, policies, and practices. In the words of Nelson Mandela (2011):

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

In closing, I invite you to use your voice in helping to set the future course for LRA by participating in the LRA elections. Look for candidate statements from individuals selected for the 2023 slate for the Board of Directors and presidential line that will be disseminated in January.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Productive New Year!

Doris Walker-Dalhouse
LRA President 2022-2023

Further information about the new LRA funding initiative can be found here:

Read More About the Initiative

LRA Member Spotlight – The Road Less Taken~ The Ph.D. Road

A poem by Adeline Mansa Borti, Ph.D., Department of English, Grand Valley State University. Read the full poem on the LRA website here.

Statement on Recent Shootings

Once again, we are jolted and immensely saddened by the recent series of tragic deaths on our university campuses and communities in North Carolina, Virginia, Idaho, and Colorado, and we earnestly wish for whatever comforts from whatever source that can be offered to the grieving families for the loss of their loved ones.

Read the full statement here.

Whether you are looking for a new position or a new hire, LRA’s job board is the place! Association members from across the world can view open positions while organizations can post theirs.

Learn More

Funding Opportunities for PhD Students

Funding call for applications to our PhD programs at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a PhD in literacy or reading education please contact: Mary McVee, mcvee@buffalo.eduApplications are due January 1, 2023. Learn more.

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