T&C 50: John Legend Reimagines Learning

In the same way that singer-songwriter John Legend’s performance of “Glory” transported Oscar viewers in February, his 11th grade English teacher inspired him to believe he could write. “She unlocked the words inside me,” says Legend, who would run with that gift, going on to win nine Grammys as well as an Academy Award (shared with rapper Common for their Selma theme song). Now he’s paying it forward with LRNG (pronounced learning), an offshoot of his seven-year-old Show Me Campaign, which seeks solutions to poverty. “One of the things we think about is how schools can be used to break that cycle,” says Legend, who joined forces with the National Writing Project (NWP), an organization that has been sharing the best practices of effective teachers for 41 years.

June 1, 2015