MDE, in collaboration with MiMTSS TA Center, is excited to host an in-person literacy event for educators and administrators in Michigan. There is space for 600 Michigan educators to learn and network in support of Goal 2 of Michigan’s Top 10 Education Strategic Plan: Improve early literacy achievement.

The conference opens with a keynote from Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, author of “Cultivating Genius” and “Unearthing Joy.” Dr. Muhammad will blend history, theory, and engaging approaches for culturally and responsive student-centered learning. She will demonstrate researched-based equity practices and describe how pedagogical examples transfer to lesson and unit plans.

Conference attendees will select from nine breakout sessions in the morning with a wide range of diverse literacy resources, the science of reading topics, and much more. Lunch will be provided in the afternoon, followed by a selection of nine more breakout sessions.

The day wraps up with an endnote session from Emily Hanford of Sold a Story. Come listen to Emily’s big takeaways from her experience reporting on dyslexia, patterns that emerged from her investigation, the science of reading, and the evolution of instructional practices commonly used across the nation.

When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on March 16, 2023
Where: Lansing Center
Cost: $75

Note: Parking is $10


Hotel Information

Courtyard By Marriott, Lansing Downtown
600 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912

Overnight Room Rate: $139.00
Cut-Off Date: March 1, 2023
Book your group rate for Literary Conference

After this date, rooms may be available based on a space and rate-available basis.

Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol
111 North Grand Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933
*Please note: the lobby will be under construction during this time.
Cut-Off Date: February 22, 2023
Reserve a room online or via phone at (800) 333-3333.  Use the Promotional Code: “MDE315” to receive your discounted group rate, or identify your group over the phone to receive the discounted rate.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has previously served as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator, curriculum director, and school board president. She studies Black historical excellence in education, intending to reframe curriculum and instruction today. Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals and books. She has also received numerous national awards and is the author of the best-selling book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. She also co-authored Black girls’ literacies: An Edited Volume. Her Culturally and Historically Responsive Education Model has been adopted across thousands of U.S. schools and districts across Canada. In 2022 she was named among the top 1% Edu-Scholar Public Influencers due to her impact on policy and practice. She has also received numerous awards from national organizations and universities. She was named the American Educational Research Association Division K Early Career Award and the 2021 NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts. She has led a federal grant with the United States Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in STEM classrooms. Her forthcoming book, Unearthing Joy, is the sequel to Cultivating Genius and provides a practical guide for putting culturally and historically responsive education into curricular practice.


Emily Hanford

Emily Hanford is a senior correspondent and producer for American Public Media. Her work has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, Washington Monthly, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. She has won numerous honors including a duPont-Columbia University Award and the Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. Emily is a member of the Education Writers Association’s Journalist Advisory Board and was a longtime mentor for EWA’s “new to the beat” program. For the past several years, Emily has been reporting on early reading instruction. Her 2018 podcast episode “Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?” won the inaugural public service award from EWA. You can find all of her reporting on reading at, including her new podcast, Sold a Story: How teaching kids to read went so wrong ( Emily is based in the Washington, D.C. area.


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Conference Registration
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM General Session
Gholdy Muhammad, University of Illinois – Chicago
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM – Noon Learning Sessions
Noon – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM Learning Sessions
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM General Sessions
Emily Hanford, American Public Media