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HELP! I have to write a speech, and I"ve procrastinated!


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I was asked to give the keynote address at UNESCO World Literacy Day here in CT. It's an even attended by many adult education professionals and state officials, as well as many adult education students and their teachers.

I'm very flattered to have been asked, but I've procrastinated too long! I've got to write the speech THIS WEEKEND and give it on Wednesday!!

 

So help a sister out here and send me any of your thoughts, musings, links, etc. on LITERACY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

 

Thanks tons!

Astrid (staring blankly at the computer screen!)

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Could you talk about powerful women and the books that changed their lives? Or how books written by women have changed the lives of famous/world leaders? I used to have a book called The Classics We've Read, The Difference They've Made, and it was all essays written by writers literature had changed their thoughts, influenced them for good, etc...

 

The book was published by a Christian group, so prob. not that helpful to you, but the essays were fascinating, particularly the one written by L'Engle. Could you choose several people and discuss how they were influenced by classics?

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I was asked to give the keynote address at UNESCO World Literacy Day here in CT. It's an even attended by many adult education professionals and state officials, as well as many adult education students and their teachers.

I'm very flattered to have been asked, but I've procrastinated too long! I've got to write the speech THIS WEEKEND and give it on Wednesday!!

 

So help a sister out here and send me any of your thoughts, musings, links, etc. on LITERACY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

 

Thanks tons!

Astrid (staring blankly at the computer screen!)

 

I'd start with a personal story that many of them can relate to, such as your mother reading to you as a child and how that shaped you, etc... Any story from your heart about your connection to literacy issues is always more compelling than a standard quotation or perfunctory "joke." And, then, when you end your talk, return to your story in some way, and invite them to join you in some action for change -- what can they do?

 

So, those are my thought on approach, rather than content. I sit through far too many speeches that simply never connect with the audience; and if you don't connect in a genuine way, you'll never create lasting change :001_smile:.

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I was asked to give the keynote address at UNESCO World Literacy Day here in CT. It's an even attended by many adult education professionals and state officials, as well as many adult education students and their teachers.

I'm very flattered to have been asked, but I've procrastinated too long! I've got to write the speech THIS WEEKEND and give it on Wednesday!!

 

So help a sister out here and send me any of your thoughts, musings, links, etc. on LITERACY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

 

Thanks tons!

Astrid (staring blankly at the computer screen!)

 

I'm sort of a creative person so I will give you one small tidbit -- I'm sure you know you need some kind of nice opening hook, or closing line to make the thing memorable. Or a line in there somewhere that they won't forget.

 

How about, "We've come a LONG way from clay tablets, baby!"

 

Just something to inject a little on-topic humor.

 

Apologies if it doesn't fit, but you never know!

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LittleKeets: LOL! I know! I think that's my problem--- I sit through SO many boring speeches that I'm petrified I'll do the same thing--- glass-over the entire audience ! I've got a personal story to start, then the true story of a Somali woman I taught to read in an adult education class who was never allowed to go to school because in her village, only boys were educated. Thanks for the great "roadmap." I'll definitely use that format.

 

Mergath--- I'm focusing on how illiteracy rates among women lead to poverty, drug addiction and child abuse, and how adult education can target the female population in order to begin to make a difference in these social ills. Mostly among immigrant populations, and here in New England.

 

Old Dom. Heather--- thanks for the book recommendation! I'm going to look for it and see whether I can use some of it; I'll bet I can pull some!

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I'm reading the book Critical Lessons right now. There is a wonderful chapter on gender that might spark some ideas. It's mostly in relation to job and careers, but does touch on the educational issues.

 

Some of the quotes she uses are:

 

She talks about the story of Mary Somerville, a woman of science who was basically ignored in science ranks because of her gender. She quotes Mary from the near the end of her life. "I have perseverance but no intelligence. That spark of heaven is not granted to the sex, we are of the earth, earthy, whether higher powers may be allotted to us in another existence God knows, original genius in science at least is hopeless in this." A tone of despair.

 

She quotes from Simone de Beauvoir's "the Second Sex". "Woman? Very simple, say the fanciers of simple formulas: she is a womb, an ovary; she is female - the word is sufficient to define her."

 

Best of luck with your speech.

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