Director’s commitment to education still inspires in hometown

Prior to becoming director of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, Dr. Michael R. Twyman, of Indiana, devoted time to improving literacy among children and adults. Illiteracy is also a major concern for residents of Arkansas – the state was ranked 36th in the nation in third grade literacy in 2012.

MC Lyte and Dr. Michael R. Twyman

MC Lyte and Dr. Michael R. Twyman

“Education is a foundation for success no matter what your goals are in life, therefore the importance of literacy should not be understated. Reading and comprehension not only improves the chances of academic advancement, but it also greatly impacts financial stability,” said Twyman.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, where Twyman was founding director of grant programs-Indiana for 14 years, recently established a new fund to honor his commitment to education.

The Dr. Michael R. Twyman Endowment Fund supports literacy and educational programs to serve vulnerable, disadvantaged children and adults. Twyman was a champion of the Indianapolis Public Library and served on the Central Library renovation project and many other library program initiatives.

“I am extremely humbled by the Pulliam Trust’s generosity and delighted that the endowment fund established in my honor will have a continued legacy to support the causes closest to my heart,” he said.

The Twyman Endowment Fund recently supported the library’s Fall Fest 2013 where author of the book, “Unstoppable: Igniting the Power to Achieve Your Greatest Potential,” and hip-hop artist MC Lyte presented a message of empowerment.

“It is critical that children learn reading and comprehension while in the K-12 system, so more of them can take advantage of higher education opportunities and be prepared to think critically about the ever-changing global environment.”

Tywman, who also taught classes related to racial justice at Indiana University Purdue-University Indianapolis, will teach the Introduction to Race and Ethnicity course offered at UALR this spring.

Dr. Michael R. Twyman with winners of the "Slammin" Rhymes Challenge VIII

Dr. Michael R. Twyman with winners of the “Slammin’ Rhymes” Challenge VIII

“In this introductory course, students will learn what role race and ethnicity plays in the U.S. and explore ways to build and advocate for a more just society,” said Twyman.

To learn more about the course or other related classes, go to Minor in Race and Ethnicity.

See more news about Fall Fest 2013 and the work of the endowment fund at Twyman Endowment Fund and Imagine: The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

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