Wiley Cash Speaks on the Value of Literacy

Courtesy of WHQR.org
Posted June 11, 2018

Wiley Cash will appear this Thursday at the Cape Fear Literacy Council annual Literacy Luncheon.  Ahead of his event, Wiley chats with CFLC Executive Director Yasmin Tomkinson and WHQR's Gina Gambony. Excerpt from their interview:

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Yasmin:   This year is our ninth annual luncheon. We are very excited about it. The theme that runs through every element is perseverance. So that is the focus of our luncheon. But actually the other thing that is true about our luncheon is it's all about Wilmington. Our readers' theater performance, which is done by some of our adult learners, is about Althea Gibson and the title of it is "From Wilmington to Wimbledon." It is very engaging and entertaining and really informative as well. And then our keynote speaker this year is Wiley Cash.

Gina:      Wiley Cash, you are obviously a successful author and a professor. I'm wondering what kind of message you have for the literacy council luncheon?

Wiley:     Well, we're, no matter where my wife and I have lived, Mallory, we've always supported two organizations, in whatever community we've been in: public radio and literacy counsels, or literacy projects, because we believe in facts and dissemination of facts. And we also believe in helping people parse through those facts and read those facts and learn those facts. And in the state of North Carolina, there are estimates as high as 10 percent of adults have trouble reading prescriptions, reading rental agreements, helping their children with their homework ... and what the Cape for literacy council does, which is so amazing, is kind of bring those adults out of the shadows that can be very shameful and an embarrassing. And they've created an environment where people willingly go into the door and say, I need help. I need help doing this thing. And so that's what I really want to discuss at the luncheon on Thursday is just the intense bravery of these people who persist and come and say I need help. I need assistance. I mean, that's braver than anything we could do on this side of the educational experience, I think.

Read the full transcript here!