2016 conference speakers, Mark Tyler Nobleman, Kevin Powel, Craig Howe
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2016 Conference Speakers

Literacy: The Critical Role of Teacher Knowledge

Author Presentation
Thursday, November 3, 2016 
7:30 – 8:30 pm

Mark Tyler Nobleman



Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of more than 70 books, many for young readers. Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman made the front page of USA Today for a startling discovery it reveals. Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman was covered by outlets including NPR's All Things Considered and the New York Times. The book led to an invitation to give a TED talk...and contains a research bombshell that may change pop culture history. 

His upcoming nonfiction includes Thirty Minutes Over Oregon (a WWII famous first that is not yet famous) and Fairy Spell (about the Cottingley fairies of WWI-era England).

Marc has been invited to speak at conferences, schools, and other venues in more than half of the 50 states, Tanzania, India, United Arab Emirates, Chile, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Guam. He blogs about adventures in publishing (from research victories to promotional gambles) at Noblemania. Twitter: @MarcTNobleman.


General Assembly Keynote Speaker
Friday, November 4, 2016
9:45 – 10:55 am

Kevin Powell


Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. Kevin is a native of Jersey City, raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Kevin has gone on to be the author of 11 books, including Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays. Among his upcoming books is his memoir of a very difficult childhood and youth, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. It will be released in November 2015 by Simon & Schuster. In 2017, he will publish a biography of Tupac Shakur, the late rapper and controversial American icon. Kevin's writings have also appeared in CNN.com, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, ESPN.com and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer, interviewing such diverse public figures as Tupac Shakur and General Colin Powell.

Kevin routinely appears in interviews on television, radio, and in print and on the internet discussing major issues of our time. As an activist, he is the president and co-founder of BK Nation, a new national, progressive, multicultural organization focused on such issues as education, civic engagement, leadership training, health and wellness, social media, arts and culture, and job and small business creation. Kevin was also a Democratic candidate for Congress in Brooklyn, New York, his adopted hometown, in 2008 and 2010. Kevin routinely travels nationally and globally as a public speaker, at colleges and corporations, at various institutions, and a wide range of communities. Recent speaking engagements include stops at Microsoft headquarters, Stanford University, the U.S. Department of Justice, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the "March on Washington," a one-week residency at the American University in Nigeria, visiting lecturer positions at Central State University and Virginia State University and as Hip-hop Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. On behalf of the U.S. State Department, he toured Japan lecturing on the relevance of Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech in the 21st century. Kevin also visited Wales in the United Kingdom for a series of lectures and workshops on the 100th birthday of 20th century poet Dylan Thomas, and the connections between Welsh and American poetry and spoken-word traditions. As a result, he was named the International Ambassador for the Dylan Thomas Centennial in America for 2014. As a pop culture curator, Kevin produced the first exhibit on the history of hip-hop in America at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, which toured America and overseas. As a humanitarian, Kevin's work includes local, national and international initiatives to end violence against women and girls (including a very well-regarded appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show highlighting domestic violence); and he has done extensive philanthropic and relief work, ranging from Hurricane Katrina to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, to Superstorm Sandy in New York, to his annual holiday party and clothing drive for the homeless every December since 9/11.

As an acknowledgement of Kevin's life of public service and his dedication to literature and the arts, Cornell University recently became the owner of The Kevin Powell Collection, documenting nearly 30 years of his work to date in print, photos, videos, books, handwritten notes, speeches, and select memorabilia


Awards Breakfast Keynote Speaker
Saturday, November 6, 2016 
7:45 – 9:50 am

Dr. Craig Howe


Craig Howe, founder and Director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), earned a Ph.D. in architecture and anthropology from the University of Michigan and taught at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Howe served as Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He co-edited This Stretch of the River: Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Responses to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Bicentennial (2006) and He Sapa Woihanble: Black Hills Dream (2011), appeared in the DVD Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires (2007), and is the executive producer, cowriter and narrator of Lakota Star Knowledge: Explorations of the Lakota Universe (2014). Howe has authored articles and book chapters on numerous topics, including tribal histories, Native studies, museum exhibitions, and community collaborations. He has developed innovative hypermedia tribal histories projects and creative museum exhibitions, lectures on American Indian topics across the U.S. and Canada, and provides professional development and cultural awareness training to schools and organizations. Howe was raised and lives on his family’s cattle ranch in the Lacreek District of the Pine Ridge Reservation where he is designing and building Wingsprings, an architecturally unique retreat and conference center that is featured in New Architecture on Indigenous Lands. He is an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Presidential Address

Saturday, November 6, 2016 
10:00 – 11:55 am

Dr. Julie Kidd

Julie K. Kidd currently serves as the President of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER). She began her service to ALER (formerly College Reading Association) as Co-Chair of the Research Commission and later served as Editor of Literacy News. She served as an ALER Director, Vice President, and President-Elect.

Julie is Professor of Education in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University (Mason) and is currently the Director of the Division of Child, Family, and Community Engagement. She previously served as the Early Childhood Education Academic Program Coordinator and teaches in the Early Childhood Education Program. Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Richmond. She began her teaching career as a sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics and English language arts teacher in Page County, Virginia. During that time, she earned a Master of Education in Reading Education at James Madison University. Julie completed her Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Literacy emphasis at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason, Julie was a reading specialist, lead teacher, and elementary classroom teacher for Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia.

Julie’s research is focused on developing the cognitive, literacy, and mathematical abilities of children from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds as well as on the professional development of preservice and inservice teachers. She was principal investigator on a Head Start University Partnership research grant and was co-principal investigator on four Institute of Education Sciences research grants. Current projects focus on (a) developing young children’s writing and (b) the professional development of preservice and inservice teachers who work with children from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds. She has numerous publications in journals, such as Literacy Research and Instruction, College Reading Association Yearbook, Early Education and Development, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, The Journal of Educational Research, and Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

J. Estill Alexander Forum for ALER Leaders in Literacy
Saturday, November 6, 2016 
4:00 – 5:25 pm


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