Events to Highlight Blueprint to End Illiteracy

Stedman Graham coming to Ann Arbor this week
Stedman Graham

Stedman Graham

At last Wednesday’s administrative briefing for Washtenaw County commissioners, the group was reminded about a VIP reception to be held before their March 18 board meeting. The special guest? Stedman Graham.

“Stedman – is that Oprah’s boyfriend?” asked commissioner Ken Schwartz.

“Yes,” county administrator Bob Guenzel replied. “But don’t call him that.”

Aside from the Oprah Winfrey connection, Graham is a management consultant, best-selling author, motivational speaker and founder of the nonprofit AAD Education, Health and Sports, which works to develop the leadership skills of disadvantaged youth. He’ll be in Ann Arbor to highlight the county’s efforts to end illiteracy, and will be speaking at five different events on March 18-19.

Immediately following a March 18 invitation-only reception in the lobby of the county administration building (220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor), Graham will be part of a formal presentation to the board of commissioners at their public meeting. The Washtenaw County Literacy Coalition, which formed in 2007 and is spearheaded by commissioners Leah Gunn and Ronnie Peterson, will formally present its Blueprint to End Illiteracy to the board.

That plan defines literacy broadly as “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual, and in society.” The coalition hopes to address ways to develop literacy skills in health, the workplace (including computer skills) and finance.

On Thursday, March 19, Graham is the keynote speaker at a community breakfast hosted by the coalition and open to the public. Several hundred people are expected to attend the event, which runs from 8-10 a.m. at the Kensington Court ballroom, 610 Hilton Blvd., Ann Arbor.

Later that day he’ll talk with students and faculty at the Roberto Clemente Student Development Center in Ypsilanti, and will meet with the county’s Head Start families at the program’s Ypsilanti location.

Graham’s visit is being sponsored by the county’s Employment, Training & Community Services department (ETCS).

One Comment

  1. By Alan Goldsmith
    March 16, 2009 at 11:49 am | permalink

    Not to rain on this parade but how much was Mr. Graham’s firm paid?