Lacy Asbill

Founding Dir
Moving Forward Institute

D. Lacy Asbill is the Founding Director of Moving Forward Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on students’ emotional well being as a critical strategy for improving their academic achievement. Founded fifteen years ago in Oakland, CA, the organization has served more than ten thousand of the most underserved youth in their community, and trained over five hundred young adults to serve as a new generation of educational leaders. Lacy’s proudest professional accomplishment is her role in authoring Reading with Relevance: a literacy program that guides students and teachers through the process of reading relevant, culturally diverse, socially and emotionally rich literature. Now, Lacy is on a mission: sharing and scaling the program she’s built for (and with!) her students, to inspire relevant reading experiences, heartfelt conversations, and instructional breakthroughs in classrooms across the nation. Lacy earned her Bachelor’s degrees cum laude from Mills College and her Master’s degree from San Francisco State University. She continues her passion for academic scholarship through a research associate role with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Lacy serves as the Board Chair of the Oakland Literacy Coalition, creating a community in which all young people learn, and love, to read. Lacy has been honored with the Hitachi Young Entrepreneur Award, was named Woman of the Year for Assembly District 15, and received Special Congressional Recognition from Barbara Lee for her work in her community. Lacy’s favorite moment of each day? Being smacked repeatedly with a book her toddler urgently wants to read together--a beautiful reminder that books serve as a powerful force for connection.



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