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AIM Institute for Learning & Research

2022 Symposium Speakers

Understanding the Influence of Linguistic Variation on Reading: Implications for Teaching

Monday, March 14, 2022

8:30 am - 3:30 pm ET

Symposium Speakers


Dr. Linnea Ehri Image
 Dr. Linnea Ehri - Hollis Scarborough Award Winner

Linnea Ehri received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a professor at the University of California, Davis, for several years before joining the Ph.D. Program in Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York as a Distinguished Professor. She has received research awards from the American Educational Research Association, the National Reading Conference, the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, and the International Reading Association, and has held elective offices in the first three organizations listed. She is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame. She served on the National Reading Panel which was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to report on research-based methods of teaching reading effectively to elementary students. She has received federal research grants from NICHD and the Office of Education. She has published over 150 papers in professional journals and books. Her research has provided scientific evidence clarifying how words are read automatically by sight, how children develop word reading and spelling skill, and how instruction can facilitate acquisition of these processes.


Moderator - Julie Washington, Ph. D. 
Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine (UCI)

Dr. Washington directs the UCI Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub and is Director of the Dialect, Poverty and Academic Success Lab at UCI. Currently, Dr. Washington’s research is focused on the intersection of literacy, language variation, and poverty. In particular, the focus of her work is understanding the role of cultural dialect in assessment of language competence and on identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension on development of reading and early language skills for children growing up in poverty. She is a member of AIM’s Research Advisory Board and delivered the Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecture at the 2021 Annual Reading, Literacy, and Literature Conference in October.



Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ph.D.
President, Valley Speech Language and Learning Center, Associate Research Professor, University of Houston

Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan is a bilingual speech and language pathologist, a certified dyslexia therapist, and a qualified instructor. She is the President of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center and is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Houston, TIMES. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan is a national and international speaker and has published research articles and interventions for literacy skills among Spanish-speaking English learners. She is also the author of the book, Literacy Foundations for English Learners: A Comprehensive Guide to Evidence-Based Instruction.



Resha Conroy
Founder, Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children

Resha Conroy brings over a decade of experience in charter school administration and non-profit management. She has served on school leadership teams and as a consultant for charter schools in Washington D.C. and New York City. Currently, Resha is a Speech-Language Pathologist with an interest in language, literacy, and culture.

She has an M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and an M.P.A. in Non-Profit Management from New York University. A mother of two children with learning differences, including a son with dyslexia, Resha is motivated by her family's journey and a lifelong passion for education reform to bring awareness to the intersectionality of race and literacy.



Kareem Weaver
Kareem Weaver Image
Co-Founder of Full and Complete Reading is a Universal Mandate (FULCRUM), Senior Visiting Fellow for the National Council on Teacher Quality

Kareem Weaver is a member of the California and Oakland NAACP Education Committees, a Co-founder and leader of Full and Complete Reading is a Universal Mandate (FULCRUM), and a Senior Visiting Fellow for the National Council on Teacher Quality. Kareem was a former commissions chair for the Oakland Alliance of Black Educators, Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, Executive Director of the Western Region for New Leaders, and an award-winning teacher and administrator in Oakland, California, and Columbia, South Carolina. Kareem has an undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and a master's in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina. The Richmond, California native believes in prioritizing family, community, and a life of service.