You do exceptional things in the classroom every single day. NCTE is here to recognize them.
NCTE LGBTQIA+ Advocacy & Leadership Award
2023 Recipient: shea wesley martin
The Ohio State University
shea wesley martin (they/them/theirs) is a literacy scholar-teacher currently completing their doctoral studies in adolescent, post-secondary, and community literacies at The Ohio State University. They proudly hold degrees from Boston University, George Mason University, and Northern Virginia Community College but attribute their passionate orientation toward community literacy to the models set by their late parents, Mary and John. Before beginning their doctoral studies, shea taught middle and high school English in Florida and Massachusetts and cofounded/facilitated several literacy initiatives aimed at supporting LGBTQIA+ youth and educators around the country. Through their scholarship and pedagogy, shea deliberately centers the stories, histories, and humanity of queer and trans people of color. Above all, they remain committed to bridging the gaps between the “scholarly,” community efforts, and literacy classrooms. Currently, shea serves on NCTE’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee. They are a past recipient of ALAN’s Bill Konigsberg Award for Acts and Activism for Equity and Inclusion through Young Adult Literature. shea’s work appears in multiple scholarly and creative outlets, including Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Radical Teacher, and Electric Literature. They are a coeditor of a forthcoming special issue of English Journal focused on supporting queer and trans students in our current sociopolitical climate. You can find them online at @sheathescholar.
“In a time of increased hateful rhetoric and censorship, we must be defiant, bold, and explicit in our support of queer and trans youth. As literacy educators, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring our students feel safe in our learning spaces, affirmed through books, and empowered to tell their own stories. All kids deserve teachers who will fight like hell for their right to exist, read, and shine brightly in this world. No matter what, we must continue to fight.”
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have always been active in literacy teaching and learning; they also have been active members of NCTE. This award demonstrates NCTE’s vision to strengthen an increasingly inclusive organization that provides more access to diverse voices. This award also helps promote cross-community connections and values and supports the agency of diverse leaders in the field.
To recognize a member of the LGBTQIA+ community who has made a significant contribution to NCTE and to the development of our professional community.
Frequency and Number of Awards:
This award will be bestowed only when the Award Selection Committee decides a nomination warrants presentation of the award. This award may not be given each year. This award may be given posthumously. Only one recipient will be selected each year.
Any member of the LGBTQIA+ community can nominate themselves or be nominated for this award. By LGBTQIA+ we mean lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual; the plus indicates the inclusiveness of others who don’t identify as L, G, B, T, Q, I, or A, such as two spirit, pansexual, or others. Nominations will be sent to the Award Selection Committee, with the selected candidate forwarded to the Executive Committee. (Given the problematic history of labeling members of the LGBTQIA+ community, NCTE wishes to clarify that specific titles are not required for this award.) The Executive Committee will approve the committee’s selection. All applicants, submitters, and nominees must be NCTE members at the time of submission. We remind nominators, nominees, and selection committee members that members of NCTE Conferences—CCCC, CEL, ELATE, LLA, and TYCA—are members, by definition, of NCTE.
Current NCTE Executive Committee members are not eligible for this award. Recipients of this award are not eligible to receive any other Executive Committee approved awards in the same year, nor in the following year.
Required materials for submission are a cover letter or letter of nomination and a resume/CV.
The bold statements are the award criteria. The remaining statements are intended to describe some of the possibilities suggested in the criteria and are not intended to be rated individually. Please remember that individuals have different levels of access to various opportunities (for example, rural vs. urban instructors). In other words, what is the level of the nominee’s contribution based on the level of opportunity, resources, and support?
Significant contribution to NCTE
- Service to NCTE (national, regional, local, and campus levels as well as conferences, affiliates, assemblies, caucuses, etc.)
- Elected roles
- Service “work” (serve at registration table, read proposals, etc.)
- Write for/present at NCTE-affiliated conferences/publication venues
- Edit or review
Development of our professional community
Professional communities focused on literacy learning can be varied (e.g., global, national, regional, and local/campus).
- Innovate classroom curriculum
- Develop district/state/national curriculum
- Attend conferences
- Produce and share research or other scholarly activities
- Participate in and/or lead scholarly organizations
- Participate in and/or lead social justice–oriented organizations
- Professional development
- Design and/or deliver profession learning engagements for community members
Advancing members of the LGBTQIA+ community
- Activities/work/processes that promote and support the advancement of the LGBTQIA+ community in the profession, in literacy-related activities, and in public engagement
- Creating a culture of change in their school, community, and/or professional organization
Strong candidates tend to show strength in all three areas.
The NCTE President appoints one Executive Committee member to serve as chair and four NCTE members-at-large from relevant NCTE groups.
Nature of the Award:
- A plaque is given to the recipient during the NCTE Awards Session.
- The recipient will also receive:
- A complimentary NCTE Annual Convention registration
- Domestic round-trip coach airfare to the NCTE Annual Convention
- One night lodging (Friday) with meals
Application Deadline: May 1
Please contact NCTEawards@ncte.org with any questions.
2024 NCTE LGBTQIA+ Advocacy & Leadership Award Application
Please note that questions marked with an asterisk are required; unmarked questions are optional. The deadline for submissions is has been extended to May 1, 2024.
LGBTQIA+ Advocacy & Leadership Award Previous Recipients
2022 Henry “Cody” Miller, SUNY Brockport
2021 Stephanie Anne Shelton, The University of Alabama
2020 Roxanne Henkin, The University of Texas at San Antonio
2019 Mollie Blackburn, The Ohio State University