Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul’s research and work stem from an unyielding commitment to anti-bias and anti-racist pedagogy and practices. As a middle school English teacher for twenty years, Sonja developed curriculum that centered the work of racial literacy in K-12 schools. She co-founded the Race Matters Committee in the 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.
Sonja is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy. She is an author, consultant, and Director of Diversity and Equity at TCRWP. Sonja is the Senior Advisor of the Heinemann Fellows and the co-author of four books published by Heinemann (with Dana Johansen): 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.