Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Regarded as a major cultural and industrial center, Detroit is known for its contributions to art, architecture, design, and music, which led to its "Motown" nickname, in addition to its ties to the birth of the auto industry, which brought it the nickname of "Motor City." Despite hosting several higher learning institutions and a national research university, Detroit has been facing a continued decline of its adult literacy rates that amount to 47.00%, meaning that half of the City's population are functionally illiterate. Low literacy skills can profoundly affect adults' ability to fully participate in daily activities and contribute to the world around them. Based on statistical data corroborated with historical events and socio-economic factors, the paper discusses the root causes that have led to Detroit's having one of the lowest literacy rates in the United States. Various efforts aimed to remedy this situation are highlighted along with the entities involved in this on-going endeavor.


Language and Literacy Education | Library and Information Science | Urban Studies and Planning


Accepted manuscript version, deposited by permission.