SXSW EDU: A Gift of Literacy with LeVar Burton

Burton has won 13 Emmy Awards, a Grammy, and five NAACP Awards during his career which has included his acting roles in Roots during the ‘70s and later on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but from 1983-2006, he also hosted the PBS educational program Reading Rainbow, which was used heavily in school classrooms to promote childhood literacy. He continues to work on projects to promote childhood literacy.

LeVar Burton

Writer, Actor, Director, Children's Literacy Advocate, LeVar Burton Kids.
LeVar Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series “Roots,” at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series and in feature films. However, it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow” of which he is most proud. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

Alicia Levi

CEO, Reading Is Fundamental.
Alicia Levi currently serves as President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). Throughout her career, Alicia has worked to transform the lives of children through smart strategies to improve academic outcomes. Prior to joining RIF in 2016, Alicia served as Vice President, Education for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and oversaw all of PBS’ educational efforts in developing digital education services for PBS, local public television stations, students and teachers nationwide.

Super Sponsors

White Claw logo
Volkswagen logo
Austin Chronicle logo
Porsche logo

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.