Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul’s research and work stem from an unyielding commitment to anti-bias and antiracist pedagogy and practices. She has taught middle school students for twenty years and develops curricula that centers the work of racial literacy in K-12 schools. Sonja co-founded the Race Matters Committee in her former school district in order to spotlight and center issues related to race and racism and provide faculty and staff with the language and tools to facilitate conversations with students about race.
As the Director of Diversity and Equity at the TCRWP, Sonja helps administrators, teachers, and community members advance the work of equity in schools. She is the host of The Black Creators Series, a collaboration with TCRWP and Candlewick Press, where she amplifies the work of authors and illustrators, helping educators consider ways books about and by Black people can play integral roles in curriculum and classrooms. Sonja is the co-founder of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy where she leads educators from around the world in the iterative process of learning, unlearning, and relearning about race and racism in order to take an antiracist stance in their classrooms and schools.
Sonja is the author of several books. She adapted Stamped (For Kids), published by Little, Brown Books for Young Reader, which is the #1 New York Times best selling children’s book. She is the co-author of four books published by Heinemann: Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning (2014), Flip Your Writing Workshop: A Blended Learning Approach (2016), Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers (2019) and Critical Literacy: Unlocking Contemporary Fiction.
Sonja leads presentations about literacy at national conferences and works with educators around the world providing professional development on reading and writing instruction and antiracist teaching practices.