Perry selected to lead national organization advancing careers of early scholars of color

UAB School of Education professor hopes to grow a national mentor program for literacy and language scholars of color.

Head shot of Dr. Tonya Perry, PhD (Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction), 2015.Tonya Perry, Ph.D.The National Council of Teachers of English recently selected Tonya Perry, Ph.D., professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as its fourth director of Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color. In her role, she plans to innovate, support and implement programs, initiatives and structures imperative for the next generation of literacy scholars of color. 

“My family has always believed in supporting each generation and paying forward our talent and resources to the next generation,” said Perry, principal investigator of the UAB School of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Alabama. “Working with the remarkable CNV family is one way I pay it forward with gratitude to my professional home of NCTE and to my ancestors.” Perry’s scholarship in the area of working with diverse learners will be expanded in this role as director of CNV. 

Perry will serve current and former CNV Scholars as they become a part of the NCTE organization and the CNV family as alumni, mentors and mentees. Her goal in the next six years is to increase the number of fellows and maintain the CNV mentor/mentee relationships through professional networking.

“When I envision CNV, I picture it as an intricate infrastructure, like a quilt, one that must be fortified in three areas: writing productivity and mentoring support; publishing opportunities; and leadership development,” Perry said.

In addition to the work of Cultivating New Voices, Perry is a senior scholar who is engaged in the community as a servant leader, teacher and researcher. She currently facilitates two large projects, GEAR UP Alabama and Red Mountain Writing Project, in addition to administering a Secondary English Education program.