Join the Durham Literacy Center

for a virtual fundraising event!

June 4, 2020 • 8-9am • A wifi connection near you!

Thank You for Your Support!

About the Event:

Previously, the Leaders in Literacy Breakfast was a time for folks who support the Durham Literacy Center to come together, meet each other, and hear in person from keynote speakers and current DLC students alike: what does literacy education look like now? What can it look like in the future?

Although we can't invite you to attend in person, the 2020 e-Leaders in Literacy Breakfast still aims to ask those basic questions. The focus of the program this year is on poverty and vulnerable populations in the Triangle, with a specific emphasis on the socio-economic implications of the current COVID-19 crisis.

While the Durham Literacy Center's facilities are currently shut down, our staff and volunteers have been assisting students remotely with unemployment applications and access to vital support services such as food and housing assistance. The vast majority of our students are low-income, and many are immigrants or refugees, who are at particular risk right now. Reliable information about COVID-19 can be hard to locate and harder to parse; food insecurity is worsened; layoffs and pay cuts are abundant. Governmental aid systems can be complicated to navigate for people who read English fluently; for people who are working on their literacy skills, or people to whom English is a second (or third, or fourth) language, those systems can be nearly impossible.

We feel strongly that the educational services that we provide will be even more important in the months and years to come, as our students and our communities work to get back on their feet. View the recorded event and read the digital program to learn more! 

About our Keynote Speaker

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina. He was director of the UNC Poverty Center (2008-2015) until it was closed by the Board of Governors for publishing articles critical of the governor and General Assembly. Since 2015, his research has been supported by the N.C. Poverty Research Fund. Nichol was president of the College of William & Mary (2005-2008), law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-1995), and dean at UNC from 1999-2005.


Nichol is the author of INDECENT ASSEMBLY: The North Carolina Legislature’s War on Democracy and Equality (Blair, 2020); and THE FACES OF POVERTY IN NORTH CAROLINA: Stories From Our Invisible Citizens (UNC Press, 2018). He’s published articles in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Duke, California, and Virginia law reviews. Nichol was a political columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and hosted a public affairs television show, Culture Wars, for KBDI in Denver. He’s been a columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer for over fifteen years, and writes regularly for the Charlotte Observer, the Durham Herald-Sun and The Progressive Populist.

In 2003, Nichol received the ABA's Edward Finch Award for delivering the nation's best Law Day address. In 2004, he was named Carolina’s pro bono professor of the year. The next year, he was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor; and Equal Justice Works named him Pro Bono Dean of the year. In 2008, he received Oklahoma State University's Distinguished Alumnus Award; the "Courage to do Justice Award" from the National Employment Lawyers Association; and the Thomas Jefferson Award for defense of religious liberty from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In 2013, the NC Council of Churches gave Nichol its Faith Active in Public Life Award; the NC-ACLU named him its W.W. Finlator Award winner; and UNC gave him its Thomas Jefferson Award – the university’s highest faculty honor. In 2014, he received the McCall Teaching Award from the UNC Law School and the University of Colorado’s Joanne Arnold award for courage in defense of civil liberty. In 2018, Nichol was invited by the faculty of the University of Michigan to give the annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Academic Freedom Lecture. This year, he received UNC’s Wettach Award for research excellence.

Nichol attended Oklahoma State University, receiving a degree in philosophy and playing varsity football. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas, graduating Order of the Coif (1973).

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

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Dr. Lisa L. Hampton

Bob and Sheila Breitweiser

Dr. Charles A. Sanders

Jane Williams and Roger Kalthoff

​Contact us:​


Phone: (919) 489-8383  




Location: 1905 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707


Mailing address:  PO Box 52209, Durham, NC 27717


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The Durham Literacy Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 56-1479534.