2022 Juneteenth Celebration - National Council of Teachers of English

Monday, June 20, 2022

5:00 p.m. ET

Join NCTE and NCTE’s Black Caucus for our second annual commemoration of Juneteenth in the event “Literacies as Liberation: Black Caucus Scholars Reflect on Liberatory Teaching and Texts.”

This event is open to NCTE members. Join NCTE today.


About the Panelists and Moderator

Ayanna F. Brown earned her B.S. from Tuskegee University in Secondary Education Language Arts, her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Interdisciplinary Studies: Language, Literacy, and Sociology. Her career in education spans both public and private organizations, including teaching middle-level English language arts and leading college readiness planning for urban youth, with a consortium between Vanderbilt University and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Education and Cultural Studies and Coordinator for the middle-level English language arts major at Elmhurst University. Her research examines discussions of race in secondary school settings, and how the discursive aspects of dialogue contribute to racial literacies in situ. 

Jamal Cooks is currently the vice president of Academic Services and was previously the dean of the language arts division at Chabot College in Hayward, California. Prior to community college administration, he served as a full professor at San Francisco State University, where he also served as the associate director for the Educational Leadership doctoral program. He has published articles on increasing expository writing, building reading skills, and exploring linguistic diversity, and participates in a number of organizations. He is an active participant in the Association of California Community College Administration (ACCCA); a graduate of the Great Deans and the Mentor programs; and the President of the Black Education Association (BEA) for Northern California. He has served for over 20 years as an NCTE member and leader, including roles with the Assembly on Research (as chair), the Middle Level Steering Committee, and the Committee on English Education. Jamal has a doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Culture and a masters in Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan, as well as a bachelors degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in Oakland with his family.

Tonya B. Perry is a tireless advocate for students and educators who are often denied a voice. She works with and for educators, students, and communities to develop programs and initiatives that uplift historically marginalized peoples. In addition, she has advocated for others on numerous committees, including the NCTE Executive Committee, as a NCTE Research Foundation Trustee, NCTE Inclusivity Task Force, NCTEAR chairperson, and NCTE Editorial Board. She currently is the director for NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color program and serves on the National Writing Project’s Board of Directors. Perry has also served the nation as a 2000 National Teacher of the Year finalist and a two-time National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). She has worked as a middle school teacher, teacher educator, full professor, executive director and principal investigator for a large GEAR UP grant, director of the Red Mountain Writing Project, and both interim department chair and executive director for outreach and engagement for a School of Education. Her new co-authored book Teaching for Racial Equity; Creating Interrupters (Stenhouse), which was released in April 2022, is a collaborative work with two teacher educators, Steve Zemelman and Katy Smith, and other brilliant teacher-writers.

Dr. Martez (Tez) Files, moderator, is the incoming assistant professor of Black Studies in Teacher Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a former high school history/social studies teacher, adjunct professor of African American Studies, and the 2017–2019 Diversity Enhancement Program (DEP) fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He recently completed an appointment as a graduation coach for a sixty-million-­dollar grant, GEAR UP Alabama, which works to remove the barriers to higher education for rural youth in Alabama. He also just completed an appointment as the program coordinator for African American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at UAB. His dissertation, “Mothering Ourselves to Wholeness: Employing Black Feminist Criticism and Critical Narrative Methods to Trace Black Maternal Archetypes and Restory the Praxes of Socio-Politically Engaged Black Mothers,” seeks to uncover the myriad ways Black mothers in life and literature have forged communal wholeness, protected the most vulnerable, and healed harm outside and within communities. His PhD is in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations with a concentration in Metropolitan Education Studies. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis on social justice from Brown University, and he graduated cum laude from UAB, where he earned a BA in African American Studies and a BA in history. He is a notable activist and organizer in the state of Alabama, working tirelessly on issues centered around communal care, politics, education, police accountability, and mental health. 

Registrants will receive email confirmations with Zoom access information 24 hours before the event and one hour before the event.