A truly brilliant, deeply caring and beloved man died this week – Harry Belafonte. One cannot read a newspaper, turn on the television or pick up a magazine without reading about Harry and all the wonderful things, both public and private he has done to make the world a better place for us all to live in. Here at the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity we planned a special symposium on Dyslexia: A Civil Rights Issue for Our Time which took place on August 4-5, 2013 at Yale. We invited Harry and he graciously accepted and shared much of his early life that was unknown to us and many others. At this symposium Harry shared with us his struggles in school resulting in his dropping out at age 17 years and not discovering, as so often happens, until much later in his life, that he was dyslexic. As is true for so many dyslexics, their reading difficulty, rather than blocking them, inspired them to move forward, to persevere and often overcome their difficulty. The symposium was well attended and included Peter Salovey, President of Yale, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee; Rep., now Senator, Bill Cassidy, MD; entrepreneur Daymond John; and from England, dyslexic space scientist Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
We are extremely grateful for Dr. Salovey’s support and that of the Seedlings Foundation which made this event possible. Please see accompanying pictures of the event.