Literacy Spotlight: REAL Talk! A Book Club About Race, Education and Language

Sep 29, 2020

As National Literacy Month nears its end, we're shining the spotlight on one last project helped by a Phi Kappa Phi 2020 Literacy Grant – REAL Talk! A Book Club About Race, Education and Language.

REAL Talk (Race, Education, and Language Talk) is an international, intergenerational book club for teachers. Project partners Kathryn Accurso and Brenda Muzeta work to pair teachers across North America – one new, one experienced – and let members meet virtually around a book that highlights issues of racial and linguistic diversity in schools and society. The teachers are challenged to make action-oriented connections to their practice and report back.

Through the program, REAL Talk hopes to provide a learning environment where new teachers can grow their racial literacy while developing their classroom practice. Since members from the same school can continue conversations outside the book club, it also supports local mentoring relationships.

"As teacher educators, we know that new literacies allow people to participate differently in their social worlds. With Phi Kappa Phi’s support of the REAL Talk project, we hope to see more and more teachers develop new knowledge, literacies and relationships in pursuit of anti-racist teaching that does less harm than pedagogies of the past," said Accurso.

The project's vision hopes to push individual comfort zones and take steps toward positive change in classrooms and communities.

And as advice to other Society members contemplating literacy initiatives in their communities and beyond, Accurso offers encouragement. "We hope other Phi Kappa Phi members and prospective members will keep on imagining the literacies we need for a better society and apply for this grant along the way."

Want a reminder when applications open for 2021? Sign up here!

Learn more about our Literacy Grants at