ELATE 2023 Conference Plenaries - National Council of Teachers of English

Conference Plenaries

Friday, July 7, 2023 | 9:00–109:15 a.m.
Tonya B. Perry, vice provost at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, 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 as a member of the NCTE Executive Committee, NCTE Research Foundation trustee, member of the NCTE Inclusivity Task Force, NCTEAR chairperson, NCTE Editorial Board member, and director for NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color program. She currently is NCTE vice president 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. 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 coauthored book Teaching for Racial Equity: Becoming Interrupters (2022) is a collaborative work with two teacher educators, Steven Zemelman and Katy Smith, and other brilliant teacher-writers.

Saturday, July 8, 2023 | 9:00–10:15 a.m.
Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is an associate professor of literacy, language, and culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has previously served as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator, curriculum director, and school board president. She studies Black historical excellence in education, intending to reframe curriculum and instruction today. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals and books. She has also received numerous national awards and is the author of the bestselling book Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. She also coedited Black Girls’ Literacies: Transforming Lives and Literacy Practices. Her Culturally and Historically Responsive Education Model has been adopted across thousands of US schools and districts across Canada. In 2022 and 2023, she was named among the top 1% Edu-Scholar Public Influencers due to her impact on policy and practice. She has also received numerous awards from national organizations and universities. She received the American Educational Research Association Division K Early Career Award and the 2021 NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts Award. She has led a federal grant with the United States Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in STEM classrooms. Her new book, Unearthing Joy, is the sequel to Cultivating Genius and provides a practical guide for putting culturally and historically responsive education into curricular practice.

Saturday, July 9, 2023 | 4:15–5:30 p.m.
Nadia Behizadeh is an associate professor of adolescent literacy and co-director of the Center for Equity and Justice in Teacher Education at Georgia State University. She is also the current chair of English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE). Her scholarly endeavors are centered on increasing middle school students’ access to critical writing instruction that prepares them to envision and build a more just world. She employs an interdisciplinary research agenda that includes developing theories and practices of powerful writing pedagogies, critiquing educational policies related to writing assessment and teacher evaluation, and evaluating methods for social justice-centered teacher preparation.

Mollie V. Blackburn is a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and affiliated with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She is the author of Moving across Differences: How Students Engage LGBTQ+ Themes in a High School Literature Class and the editor of Adventurous Thinking: Fostering Students’ Rights to Read and Write in Secondary ELA Classrooms. She received NCTE’s LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Leadership Award and AERA’s Queer Studies Special Interest Group’s Body of Work Award.

Melanie Shoffner is a professor of education at James Madison University, where she regularly teaches classes in secondary ELA methods, curriculum theory, and literary resistance. Her scholarship focuses on issues of ELA teacher education and preservice teacher development, with recent work including the coedited book Reconstructing Care in Teacher Education after COVID-19: Caring Enough to Change. Shoffner is the current editor of English Education and a former Fulbright Scholar in Romania.