The Ugly Side of Dyslexia

Keynote presented by Ameer Baraka

You may have seen Ameer Baraka in Tyler Perry’s Zatima or American Horror Story. What you may not know is that Ameer’s own mother called him “dumb and stupid.” His teachers humiliated him. And his dyslexia, which made it difficult for him to read, turned the young man into a “street thug”. Now an accomplished actor, Baraka was only a few words away from a life in prison, all because he couldn’t read. Ameer is a devoted dyslexia advocate committed to stopping the school-to-prison pipeline. Join us for this inspiring session and discussion of how to remove the shame and stigma of dyslexia.

Conference registration required.


More about the speakers

Ameer Baraka is a dyslexic who did not learn to read until he was an adult because his dyslexia was not diagnosed when he was a child. His descent into the criminal life of New Orleans and his ascent from that life to become a successful actor, producer, and mentor to youth throughout the country is an inspiring story. Now an author of “The Life I Chose…The Streets Lied to Me” and a successful actor, Ameer knows about the temptations and “traps” of growing up poor, Black, and illiterate in the streets of New Orleans. From dealing drugs to doing time in prison, this juvenile delinquent turned actor, author, and educator is also doing life-transforming work with wayward youth.